Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury responds to the Jerusalem Declaration

Cranmer now understands why they chose Jerusalem. They were obviously aware that their agreed statement might make the BBC news for a day, but they also suspected that it might reverberate around the theological seminaries for a few years, or even go down in Church history as a defining moment of schism, like those of 1054 or 1517. And centuries later, the Blackpool Declaration or the Slough Declaration would simply not have the theological gravitas of one which emanated from Jerusalem.

But Cantaur has responded, and it is heartening indeed to read that appears to accept that the Declaration represented significantly more than some in the media appear to indicate. A third of the Anglican Communion’s bishops and a majority of its adherents can hardly be lightly dismissed as the tautologous ‘Conservative traditionalists’. Plainly, they speak for the majority and centre, not the extreme.

Thus it was, that Dr Williams was able to acknowledge that nothing doctrinally contentious was being asserted at GAFCON. In his own words: ‘The “tenets of orthodoxy” spelled out in the document will be acceptable to and shared by the vast majority of Anglicans in every province, even if there may be differences of emphasis and perspective on some issues.’

That phrase ‘the vast majority’ is telling indeed, and credit must be given for such recognition, even if it might discomfit some of the Archbishop’s more obsequious theological bedfellows. In the spirit of Anglican give-and-take, it must be acknowledged that Dr Williams identified certain areas where the GAFCON proposals have not been fully thought-through and we would be ill-served by an intelligent Primate who could not highlight such matters (and, please, no tiresome attempts at humour about how the Archbishop looks like a primate, or how we are already ill-served by him):

Two questions arise at once about what has been proposed. By what authority are Primates deemed acceptable or unacceptable members of any new primatial council? And how is effective discipline to be maintained in a situation of overlapping and competing jurisdictions?

It would perhaps be expecting too much of a fallible human institution to advance a complete and unassailable proposal on its first draft. The questions cannot be long left unaddressed. However it is in his deft adoption of metaphor that the Archbishop renders interesting ground for discussion.

He suggests: "An impatience at all costs to clear the Lord's field of the weeds that may appear among the shoots of true life (Matt.13.29) will put at risk our clarity and effectiveness in communicating just those evangelical and catholic truths which the GAFCON statement presents."

Quite so.

However, this does rather suggest that he accepts that there are weeds that detract from the flowerbed of Anglicanism, and a vigorous enquirer might invite him to identify what the nature of those weeds might be, and where the Weedol may be found to deal with the pesky irritants.

Cranmer is no gardener (though he cultivates his beard which is most uncomfortable this weather), but is given to understand that a weed is a plant that has self-seeded into an area where it is not wanted. If His Grace’s Roman Catholic communicants could resist the temptation to apply this definition to the Church of England in its entirety, what better illustration could one seek of the presence of Bishop Gene Robinson amongst the Episcopacy?

Her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth I (at whose tomb Cranmer paid homage just last week) was unwilling to open a window into men’s souls, and so it became the better part of the Anglican tradition to permit the high and the low, the radical and the eccentric, to bud and blossom through benign neglect in the peripheral hedgerows of the Communion. As long as they spread their scent and spawned their seed in a private corner, few were bothered by their existence, and fewer were even aware of it.

But what we have now is a malicious plague of undesired and undesirable bindweed, and it is corrupting the Lord’s harvest and strangling the fruit of the garden. The Archbishop of Canterbury should hold to his metaphor and be the good gardener who plainly recognises what needs to be done. He might ask for a brief moment to assess the full extent of the damage, but the longer he takes to source the Weedol, the more the harvest will be diminished, and the greater the threat to the fruits of the Spirit.


Anonymous John said...

I think the point of the Archbishop's metaphor was a bit more subtle than you allow. A sexually active gay layperson or cleric in their entirety as a person (e.g. Bishop Gene Robinson) is not a weed. However, there may be weeds growing in the heart of such persons; and by seeking to uproot such weeds wholesale, we may also destroy the good harvest that it is the potential of any person to yield. After all, many of the bishops involved in GAFCON may have vices that are more destructive to the unity and holiness of the body of Christ than one man's love of another man, such as overweening pride or lack of pastoral concern for gay believers.

2 July 2008 at 08:55  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

A few observations, First it is by no means settled that this document will even be relevant in six months. If Lambeth votes to allow Anglican Lady Bishops without making provision for the1300 ‘Trads’ and assuming they leave as they have claimed they will, who will the Gafcon or is it FOCA, find in the ‘Communion’ to be in fellowship with as they (Gafcon/FOCA) have stated they will reject the authority of the liberal wing

“13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed.”

So I think it is a bit premature talking about the detail when bigger matters have to be settled.

Second “By what authority”, this is the key to the whole debacle, who honestly has authority to hold together todays Anglican communion, this episode has clearly demonstrated there is no accepted central authority just opinions and pressure groups, and it’s the ordinary pew dusters that have to live with the consequences of this infighting. Quite frankly is disgraceful because it’s an embarrassment to the ordinary Anglican, it gives succour to the churches enemies (not that they need it) and it advances the cause of disestablishment in this land. It’s not a proud legacy Cranmer.

Finally, 1054 granted that was schism but 1517? That wasn’t Schism it was contumacy leading to secession, an entirely different beast, the former continued to recognised and maintain the Catholic Christian faith, the latter simply remade Christianity to fit its particular time stamped word view. No different really with what is happening today.

2 July 2008 at 10:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>A sexually active gay layperson or cleric in their entirety as a person (e.g. Bishop Gene Robinson) is not a weed<<

No. They are better described as a cancer. Read Paul's first letter to the Corinthians about the sexually immoral person. There really is no debate about what needs to be done.

Anglican-for now

2 July 2008 at 10:31  
Anonymous John said...

@ Anonymous

Would you call a sexually active gay person a 'cancer' to their face? If not, would that not be hypocritical? If so, would it be Christian?

The point I was making is that bishops are meant to have pastoral concern for their flock, including the gay members of their flock. The Jerusalem Declaration - and your metaphor - appeared to be saying that no sexually active gay person would be welcome in the new doctrinally (and morally?) pure Communion.

If that's what you are saying, it would be good if you were explicit about it. If you're going to apply the same rule to unmarried or remarried straight couples, fair enough; but you might have even less of a rump church to follow you if you do.

2 July 2008 at 10:49  
Anonymous David said...

"Sexually active Gay people are a Cancer"

Oh how I love these religious types. Feel the love, feel the compassion. And then the Church wonders why no-one finds it relevant in modern life; you are sowing the seeds of your own doom.

I wish you would all go away. Go very far away from me and my loved ones. What you preach isn't love, it's hate - and it's thinly veiled at that.

Anon: You disgust me in ways, you can't even imagine; and Cranmer - you could delete that vile filth if you wanted, that you don't speaks volumes.

2 July 2008 at 11:06  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr David,

His Grace could delete vile filth. Indeed, he could delete every word with which he does not agree. But then there would be no discussion, no debate, no challenge and no enlightenment. He refers you to his 'Bottom Line' in the side-bar.

'Vile cancer' is an opinion, and is certainly not one shared by His Grace. But the sarcasm of 'feel the love' and your derogatory reference to 'religious types' does nothing to enlighten Anon 10.31.

It is for that reason that His Grace exhorts his communicants to ignore all anonymice. Why permit anonymous comments to cause you anger?

2 July 2008 at 11:24  
Anonymous David said...

Your Grace

Then, I presume that you do not find it "gratuitously offensive"? Comments of which nature, you say may be summarily deleted.

My "feel the love" comment is entirely pertinent, as it is the line trotted out by Christians all the time; we hate that you sin - but we "love" the sinner. I see no love in calling someone a cancer. So, while sarcasm it may be - it has an underlying truth. I find it inordinately odd, that those in the church with such strident views, cannot themselves be free of sin, yet they seek to decide which sinners are acceptable and which are not (and as such should be excluded).

As for enlightening Anon, how is such a prospect to be brought about? Your own Church is splitting because underneath the dog collars of some is a misogyny and homophobia that will stay quiet no longer - in fact, having watched some of the videos at the GAFCON website - it is actively being preached by those from whom millions take spiritual guidance - surely any attempts at enlightenment ought first to come from within the body that Anon takes as his spiritual home?

2 July 2008 at 11:44  
Blogger Alan said...


it is fine to say that we are all sinners. This is certainly true. But it is not the point. We must agree on what sin is. Sin is an objective fact. The liberal types want to deny that sex outside marriage is in fact a sin. One can debate this very passionately, without descending to personal attacks.

2 July 2008 at 12:09  
Anonymous John said...

@ Alan,

So would you say that unrepentant unmarried, or divorced and remarried, straight couples (and any of their children) should be excluded from [the newly GAFCON-purified Anglican] communion, the same as sexually active gay persons?

2 July 2008 at 12:54  
Anonymous Stonemason said...

Such wisdom from his Grace .....

The current activities in the Church might be a resurgence of Puritanism, might there be another exodus to the America's

I was going to write "In order for you to insult me I must first value your opinion", but thought better of it, lest some take offence.

2 July 2008 at 12:55  
Blogger Scott said...

A marvellous and highly perspicacious post.

2 July 2008 at 12:59  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Gene Robinson is not a bishop and any group that considers him a bishop is itself not a Church.

There is no special role for those who do not uphold biblical orthodoxy as bishops, probably not as priests either. It is simple, Muslims have no role as Christian prelates nor do Hindus or Jews.

They may all be admirable persons in themselves, but if they do not subscribe to the central tenets of the Christian Faith they have no place within the Church.

There are no great insights to be gained by seeing Roy Jenkins as some great innovator in Christian Theology because he had Leo Abse push a Bill through the Commons. Just as it would be strange to say John Wesley was wrong because Methodism and the cult of drunkenness in Britain today somehow undermines his campaign against alcoholic self-indulgence.

2 July 2008 at 13:32  
Anonymous Stonemason said...

Wow, voyager is in a strop ......

You may like "Gene Robinson" or not, but he is a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

His unorthodox sexual alignment might offend your sensibilities, but they are outed and accepted by his Episcopal Church. I would offer an observation, not meant to offend, that in earlier times a "voyager" might have helped light the faggots for his Grace's martyrdom.

I believe the church survives because of its ability to survive storms, sometimes in teacups, survive much like great trees in a forest.

2 July 2008 at 14:49  
Blogger Mark said...

There is a difference, Sir, between tolerating and leaving the chaff for God to separate from the harvest at His appointed time and letting others sow salt in your garden.

Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained a brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matthew 18:15-17

2 July 2008 at 15:12  
Anonymous John said...

Are we saying that the GAFCON Church within a Church will be entirely devoid of sexually active homosexuals; even sexually active gay bishops? That would be a first then! But achievable?

2 July 2008 at 15:35  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Esteemed Historic Personages, Noblemen, Learned Gentlemen, and Ladies ... may I suggest you follow this URL link?

Indeed, may I strongly recommend you do? Just click on the 'Hour 1' link as indicated below and download the file for the given date as shown:

SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2008
MP3 Files: Hour 1

It is a recently archived MP3 file: an interview of E. Michael Jones, the Editor of the monthly magazine Culture Wars.

I believe you will find this circa 50 minute duration interview (conducted by a Canadian-Jew named Henry Makow) both illuminating and very profound. Indeed, certain parts of the interview may be life-changing for some of you (let's hope so!).

Just put up with the 3 minute commercial breaks (recommend you use fast forward) and listen very carefully. The audio file will open in your Windows Media Player TM (unless you have selected otherwise).

The content of this erudite Internet Radio interview is indirectly but closely relevant to the perilous condition of our Anglican embarrassment, the European Union's totalitarianism, the Iraq invasion, impending food shortages, and the 9-11 false-flag hoax (i.e., criminal outrage), plus more besides.

IMHO ... We all need to look much deeper for answers, and stop wasting so much time reacting to the headlines.

2 July 2008 at 16:34  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

Then again it could be that all laws and decrease will be eminating from Jerusalem in the near future under a Noahide One World Order and they have pushed the boat out in making the first move

2 July 2008 at 16:50  
Anonymous David said...

Are we saying that the GAFCON Church within a Church will be entirely devoid of sexually active homosexuals; even sexually active gay bishops? That would be a first then! But achievable?

I very much doubt it. They will, of course, keep their own personal counsel and live a life of hypocrisy - condemning others in Society to second-class citizenship, whilst enjoying the bountiful fruits of this new Anglican Communion.

I can tell you what it will contain though; Homophobic Bishops who stir up hatred in their own lands - promoting violence amongst Christians and Muslims. We gayers are "not fit to live" you know.

A true servant of the Lord.

2 July 2008 at 16:59  
Anonymous David said...

There should have been two links there, apologies:

2 July 2008 at 17:00  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

dizzyfatplonka [02 July 2008 16:50] ... you're not a 'plonka' ... you seem all right, and on the right track with your last comment.

It is my understanding George W. Bush actually signed into US Law, adherence to the Noahide (Noachide) Laws about a year or two ago. Please look it up on the Internet if you want a more accurate date. I have the details somewhere, but I must defer.

This is why I have repeatedly tried to highlight here at Cranmer, the existence of the new Supreme Court building --- built to exacting Freemason / Occult specifications as stipulated by the infamous Rothschilds, and wholly financed by them --- which is situated right opposite the Knesset. This cabal of extremist nutters are trying to impose a fascist New World Order under the pretext of some vague interpretation of the Old Testament, or more appropriately their Tanakh.

War with Iran will create the right conditions for furthering their Machiavellian and megalomaniac plans, hence the bullying and provocations. Left alone, Iran would not be a threat.

Nicholas Sarkozy (who has Hungarian Jewish ancestry) is about the accelerate the European chapter of this unfolding nightmare during the just started French presidency of the EU.

Meanwhile, over in Washington DC, the Zionist-Jews (most with dual citizenship) who are in complete control of the Department of Homeland Security, have been passing laws by decree (and by the bushel) for the past 6-months ... by-passing scrutiny by Congress entirely (using Presidential Decree).

This is truly madness, a scene right out of Aldous Huxley's pages, but quite frankly, that is the true state of the USA under Bush right now. That "republic" is disintegrating before our very eyes yet most of us still refuse to see the evidence for what it truly is.

As for other related issues please make sure you download the audio file I linked to earlier (see above). It is most essential you get a clearer handle on what is going on at breathtaking speed. The audio file (MP3) is a theological discussion, but it is also rooted in current affairs. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Please act, and try and shake as many people out of their lethargy as you can. We are living in genuinely dangerous and momentous times. We could end all of this tomorrow if only more people would take these issues and developments seriously.

Whole nations are being controlled or manipulated by criminal groups and Spector/Scaramanga type individuals we only used to see at the movies, before they fell victim to James Bond!


NOTE: Under the authentic Noachide Laws ... anyone found guilty of professing their faith in Jesus is liable to death by decapitation.

2 July 2008 at 18:15  
Anonymous edward tattysyrup said...

The phrase 'get a life' comes to mind.

If some of you did, you might work out that there are better subjects to exercise you than what consenting adults get up to in bed.

2 July 2008 at 18:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I would offer an observation, not meant to offend, that in earlier times a "voyager" might have helped light the faggots for his Grace's martyrdom.

It does not offend it simply belittles you and shows you have no argument to offer.

Gene Robinson is an alcoholic, adulterer, and is not fit to be a bishop.

The Episcopalian Church of the USA formerly known as the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA is so errant in its doctrine and so divorced from Christian Theology in its practices that it is schismatic in the extreme and heading for insolvency.

It is little more than a sect with New Hampshire itself having a puny diocese with 16,912 members in 2003 and 14,725 members in 2007.

The Presiding Bishop of ECUSA comes from a diocese of 6,000 members and does not even have a cathedral.

ECUSA is a tiny sect in the USA with a nominal 2.1 million adherents. Out of 300 million Americans this is bordering on farce when over 53% Americans are Protestants

2 July 2008 at 20:10  
Anonymous watching with interest said...

With Voyager - how in heck did Gene Robinson get ordained, let alone become a bishop? Him being gay is only the excuse he makes for his bad behaviour. The gay people I know don't manipulate others, lie, cheat, or put their personal benefits about the groups they are supposed to serve.

If Robinson happened to be straight, we'd be hearing about how it doesn't really matter that he had a string of affairs with parishoners because nobody complained, or that it was all his wife's fault for being stupid enough to marry a philanderer.

The man is manipulative, self-centred to the point of it being a recognizable mental illness (narcissism) and a terrible advert for any Christian church.

I'm not of any church but retain a fondness for the CoE, so I've got no opinion on whether a churchman could be gay or not according to scriptural grounds, but observe that the church has been served faithfully by many gay people. What is wrong with Robinson is that he isn't a Christian, and that ought to be a bar to office.

3 July 2008 at 12:52  

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