Sunday, March 02, 2014

Unity, truth, conscience and submission: Rev David Ould vs Bishop of Buckingham

In the red corner: The Rt Rev'd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham (referring to this Open Letter from Phil Groom to the House of Bishops).

In the blue corner: The Rev'd David Ould, Rector of Glenquarie Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia.

His Grace has absolutely nothing to add.


Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

We can clearly be grateful to Australians to be direct.

Thinking of the House of Bishops one is reminded of the adage "with friends like that who needs enemies?"

2 March 2014 at 13:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Even if you were to concede (which I don’t) that Bishop Alan Wilson is on the right side of the debate about C of E wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples, he is undeniably an inept debater. He is what chess players call a woodpusher, just shoving his pieces around from one square to another without stopping to think what weaknesses he is leaving for his opponent to take advantage of. Specifically, he came out with what he naively believed to be an unanswerable challenge in the form of a Gospel quotation about Pharisaism, while unfortunately lacking the IQ to foresee his opponent’s request to name the alleged Pharisees. Then he gets upset because the rules of the game don’t allow him to take his move back. What a poor silly git. Is this really the sort of human resource, to coin a phrase, that the C of E elevates to the episcopate these days?

2 March 2014 at 14:37  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The bishop’s benediction—‘Phil tells it like it is’—presumably extends to Phil’s observation, in paragraph nine, that heterosexual relationships are no longer the bedrock of society.

When the Bishop of Oxford talked of the Church being called to ‘real repentance’ for her past attitude to homosexuals, I never guessed it would involve standing reality on its head.

2 March 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hmmm, David Ould's avatar looks suspiciously like Lucius Cranach's portrait of a younger Cranmer. Just saying.

2 March 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger Bishop Alan Wilson said...

"Dead hypocritical Pharisaism" is an abstract noun.

2 March 2014 at 14:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bishop Alan Wilson said: "Dead hypocritical Pharisaism" is an abstract noun.

Apart from it being arguably false, Your Grace. As a member of the pharisaic continuum, I reject both the "dead" and the "hypocritical" bits as hostile and biased religious propaganda.

2 March 2014 at 15:52  
Blogger gentlemind said...

I felt very sad reading Phil Groom's letter. It is difficult to comprehend how some have come to wander so far away from the reality of the human body. Same-sex sexual activity cannot be said to flower by virtue of being planted in the ground of fidelity. Instead, fidelity simply weds sin to repetition.

2 March 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

I dunno, the twitter exchange posted here for us to read seems like it is nothing other than a vacuous slanging match rather than a thought out and or robust argument, which I am sure both Rt Rev Dr Wilson and Rev Oulde are capable of engaging in as can be seem from their perspective websites. OK twitter isn't that good as you can only use a few words, but even so...

2 March 2014 at 16:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Bishop Wilson, Happy Jack laughed when he read this: "Dead hypocritical Pharisaism" is an abstract noun."

Now Jack is not a scholar of words but that was some excuse you came up with there.

'Abstract nouns' don’t convey things we can experience with our senses but they do convey meaning. And the of this term meaning is: "Hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit; sanctimoniousness."

So Bishop Wilson who did you have in mind when you accused people of this by using an abstract noun? All those who don't agree with your reinterpretation of scripture?

Here's another example of an abstract noun: "What a right, royal plonker!"

"Plonker", as an abstract noun that means: "dope, idiot, moron, wally, pillock, dunderhead, dimwit," It is a somewhat light hearted insult and is not meant maliciously - unlike some other 'abstract nouns'.

2 March 2014 at 16:44  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I have heard the conversation amongst ultra liberals in the c. of e. The assumption is that those who hold to traditional morality are moribund and frightened and half dead, so that a kind softly softly tactful approach may be necessary until we realise that there is absolutely no difference whatever between a "faithful" homosexual relationship and a faithful heterosexual one.

Tact would therefore preclude anyone being too honest about the open nature of such relationships, in which an average of 8 adulterous liaisons occur per anum.

It is also assumed that the differences are minor and mostly due to historic prejudice. Only a male-centric organisation could so focus on male sexual release at the expense of cherishing and celebrating male-female complementariness and the safe secure nurturing and wellbeing of children from the fertilised ovum onwards. Shame on them! Perhaps they have failed to keep up on contemporary scientific understandings on the life and sensitivities of the unborn child?

2 March 2014 at 16:47  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

sorry typo
For anum read annum

2 March 2014 at 16:48  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

On second thoughts not "institution" but "pressure group".

2 March 2014 at 17:04  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness dear Lucy! I read your 'anum' as 'anus' because of the subject of the thread - I really must go to Specsavers...

2 March 2014 at 17:14  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And Avi dear, isn't the portrait of the young Cranmer by Holbein?

2 March 2014 at 17:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Alan Wilson and Phil Groom

New wording 6 months later

we believe that parishes and clergy, who conscientiously believe that celebrating faithful polygamous relationships would be pastorally and missiologically the right thing to do, should be supported in doing so.

New wording 9 months later

we believe that parishes and clergy, who conscientiously believe that celebrating faithful incestuous (They will call it something else) relationships would be pastorally and missiologically the right thing to do, should be supported in doing so.

I would like to see

we believe that parishes and clergy, who conscientiously believe that celebrating greed, pride and materialism would be pastorally and missiologically the right thing to do, should be supported in doing so.

As was said relatively recently in a debate. Does God look down from heaven and say to two guys making out. Yes go for it?

If so who was wrong then Alan / Phil in your Bibles?

Jesus or Paul or both of them or do you personally know God better than them?


2 March 2014 at 17:36  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Although one regrets tampering with tradition, it might be better to rename suffragan bishops as ‘Bishop 2nd Class’

Just so that we can better ignore them when they break ranks...

2 March 2014 at 18:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Phil believes that ‘equal rights require equal rites’ (his antepenultimate paragraph). No mention of responsibilities—in particular, the procreation and raising of a family. It is possible that ‘responsibilities’ was rejected simply on grounds of homophony but I suspect it is because it would weaken Phil’s central argument that homosexual relationships are the equal of heterosexual. In the creation of life, the two could not be more unequal.

2 March 2014 at 18:18  
Blogger Bishop Alan Wilson said...

I'm told some Anglicans tolerated Polygamy in the Church of Nigeria in the 1920's I believe, a significant reason there is a Church of Nigeria today. I am unaware of pressure for any such thing in Britain today. Gay people who want to get married are, almost by definition, seeking the opposite of polygamy.

2 March 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil Roberts, ...celebrating faithful incestuous (They will call it something else). Consanguineal? You forgot to add human rights to sanctifying amorous affairs with sheep and since we are all liberalizing things, my powerful and genuine love for my truck cannot be lightly the windfalls of tax exemptions I would claim.

You are absolutely correct, Mrs Proudie, and I don't need to double-check. Old Holbein did slum around the courts of England, dabbling away at portraits of the big and wealthy, while Lucius Cranach painted weird monsters and under-aged naked females somewhere in Germany.

As always, the Inspector insists on orderly conduct and "Bishop 2nd Class" would make sense. Of course, while some are eager to twiddle around with traditions in doctrine, one should expect them to become staunchly conservative and traditional on this issue especially if it portends lower salaries and loss of the corner office with a view of the park.

2 March 2014 at 18:46  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Bishop Alan Wilson. Missionary activity in the whole of Africa was only permissible after two concessions. Accepting that the tribal chief and his princes practiced polygamy and the ‘integration’ of aspects of their original faith, mainly ancestor worship. You seem rather light on nineteenth century evangelicalism, worryingly so for a bishop.

And as for blessing gay unions, you might as well bless this whisky bottle in front of me...

2 March 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Bishop Alan Wilson

You did not answer my question so I will ask again.

Does God look down from heaven and say to two guys making out. Yes go for it?

If so who was wrong then in your Bible?

Jesus or Paul?

BTW. Do I read from you comment above that you actually believe that polygamy is a good thing?

I would love to hear the reaction of a Bishop representing the rapidly growing and 16 million+ Anglicans in Nigeria that the reason for their success is allowing polygamy nearly 100 years ago.


2 March 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 March 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Parts of the C of E are very very busy, don't read very much truth be told and also sweetly naive about the nature of homosexual fidelity. No one has really wanted to say this to them so they haven't really taken on board that fidelity there is seen as remaining in the same house, coming back to the same partner, not as exclusivity.

It would be encouraging to see parts of the Church wittering away less about "person x, y or z is so vulnerable", a code word in some circles and caring more about the truly vulnerable, babies and young children, NOT grown ups, and centring their policies around the needs of the more vulnerable. So the concentric circles would go babies, small children, older childre, pregnant women, mothers of young children, and then the rest (which includes me). At the moment, like an inverse Robin Hood, they appear bent on doing the opposite, and transferring widow's pensions to the pink pound.

Maybe they are more comfortable affirming the rights of rich gay men to hire wombs, which is what follows gay marriage as the night the day, than protecting the rights of vulnerable children to be brought up as often as possible by their genetic parents, and to be told the truth, and the desirability of women not prostituting their wombs to the highest bidder.

We aren't the awkward squad. We genuinely care for all those who stand to lose; babies,children and widows, who are already amongst the most vulnerable.

2 March 2014 at 19:28  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


There is a growing body of evidence as you say that suggests that homosexual households are poor places for children to grow up.

American College of Pediatricians Warns Against Same-Sex Families

Supports what you say and the author quotes a homosexual researchers for her main findings and she herself was bought up in a homosexual household and also writes about her experiences and the effects on her as a child.


2 March 2014 at 19:38  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ phil

Thanks for the link. I know as a father of 6 you know what I am saying. It feels odd when we have the Children's Act saying the needs of the child are paramount (or is that word from an earlier Act?) that it is so lumpily applied.

And when it comes to celebrity gay couples even a minority in the churches think it's OK to set up a situation of lying to some poor child about who he is and where his genes came from and that he'll grow up fine about it all. Even the fact of one of the "Dads" having a well known massive collection of witchcraft paraphernalia doesn't seem to raise a red flag for some. It is mind-blowing at times, and I just don't know how we got here.

2 March 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

If the CoE is so foolish as to acquiesce to the demands of the homosexuals within, the LGBT movement will be all over it like a rash. Demand after demand will follow, each time pushing a bit further. LGBT committees will mushroom, and ‘equality’ officers appointed. CoE LGBT festivals will be announced, and how about an LGBT day, let’s say Wednesday. Wealthy homosexuals will commission stained glass windows picturing the rainbow flag, and the flag itself will be flown from hastily erected flagpoles, especially on Wednesday. There will be LGBT bishops and clergy conferences, and LGBT laity will be active. Among the topics to be discussed, the 'bi-sexuality of Christ'.

2 March 2014 at 20:03  
Blogger Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Phil, does God look at you and say "Yes Go for it." Does God look at different sex couples and say "Yes Go for it." I have no idea. Depends partly on what you mean by making out, I suppose. Why don't you ask God?

There are various traditional ways of interpreting the almost 6/31,273 verses in the Bible that possibly bear at all on what we call "homosexuality." Not all of them are hostile to gay people.

The point I faintly remembered about Polygamy is captured more accurately by "Inspector General in Ordinary" above. Of course I don't support polygamy: but there are anomalies in Church history you would find surprising. I am intrigued by a recent Obiter Dictum from the Ugandan "Ethics" Minister: "Homosexuality is strange to us and polygamy is strange to you. We have divergent views." That does betray a rather shaky grasp of Ugandan history...

2 March 2014 at 20:08  
Blogger Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Incidentally, the ACP is a ginger group not a professional body like AAP:

2 March 2014 at 20:25  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I read Phil Groom's letter earlier today and thought it a perfect example of a particular sort of reasoning from emotion and special pleading. It will make excellent study material for obituarists of the church of England.

One of the arguments I hear from the Phil Grooms of this world, and I use the term 'world' thoughtfully, is that the time and energy expended by conservative Christians resisting the demands of the sexual revolutionaries who have penetrated the church could be better spend caring for the poor and preaching the Gospel. The Gospel of repentance perhaps, or a different (Galatians 1:6-9)gospel? I digress.

There is a wonderfully simple solution to this problem as I have found since December when i left my Anglican church and started attending an independent Evangelical church with a high view of Scripture. Zero time is spent on the non-issue of whether God has changed His mind about the prohibition on same gender sex. This church is very active indeed in outreach at home and abroad including a city centre food bank and ministry to addicts and is now launching a Christians Against Poverty initiative. No energy at all is being wasted on arguing about settled matters.

The Tweeting bishop has reached a 'Proverbs 24:24 moment'. I reached a 'come out of her my people lest you share in her iniquities' moment.

Satan is rolling on the floor laughing his a*** off over this farce. If Phil Groom thinks that capitulating to the sexual revolutionary agenda, on the basis that he has met some nice gay men who feel loved by God, will lead to revival then those obituarists had better get ready.

The Inspector is right, the revolutionaries will never stop until they have achieved all their goals. If they want to have a religion in which God blesses men who have sex with men, let them invent one but they can't call it Christianity as that name is already taken.

Disestablishment looms and I will now welcome it. Lizzie should be the last fake Christian monarch enabling this pagan country to think of itself as institutionally Christian.

2 March 2014 at 20:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bishop Allen said: "Of course I don't support polygamy: but there are anomalies in Church history you would find surprising.

Polygamy was not only allowed in the Bible, but is practiced throughout the world. The prohibition of polygamy and slavery emerged gradually in Judaism and Christianity. There is no clear legitimation of homosexuality in both religions. None whatsoever.

So, Your Grace, would we be wrong to charge that you object to polygamy and approve of same sex marriage because of your personal opinions or because it is fashionable and faddy to do so? Or is there a developed authoritative explanation, even a general principle, as to why one departure from tradition and scripture is ok, but not the other? In your somewhat, um, light-hearted, answer to Phil here, you implied that you, as a churchman, haven't the foggiest as to where God would approve of making-out, i.e., sexual relations, between same sex couples. I find this rather surprising, if not unbelievable, but I've been known to be wrong.

2 March 2014 at 20:43  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...


I was talking to a Nigerian Christian last week who said that his great, great, great grandfather had 53 wives. One for every week of the year and one spare? One thinks of his poor neighbouring men who have had to go without. Happily Augustine (my Nigerian friend's name) has only one wife.

He also confirmed without any prompting that the prosperity gospel rip off was very strong in some Nigerian churches.

And one may make of that what one wishes.

2 March 2014 at 20:45  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Ground roots LGBT are crying out for a power base. They thought they had it in Stonewall, and to a certain extent, Terence Higgins. For reasons too complicated to go into, along with half the story being unclear anyway, they haven’t.

You can see then how attractive the church would be. Especially with sympathetic clergy and laity at their beck and call.

Worse case scenario ? Not at all, remember ten years ago, when CPs were established to prevent the then worse case scenario of SSM. It all seems so tame back then...

2 March 2014 at 20:46  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

To Phil Groom who wrote 10th paragraph “Like St Peter in prayer on the rooftop, who found himself confounded by God’s apparent change of attitude towards the things and people he believed that God had declared unclean, I too was confounded; but also like Peter, seeing God transforming the lives of those whom I once regarded as unclean, I am set free and I ask, “Who am I — who are we, the Church — to deny blessing to those whom God is blessing?””

God doesn't change attitude and He would not start blessing dangerous behaviour.
Homosexuality whether monogamous or not is unclean and promotes the spread of H.Pylori a bacteria which is spread through faecal matter getting into food and water through unclean behaviour. Having just been diagnosed with its presence and had to take a shed load of antibiotics I've been reading up, more than half of the population have it in their stomach apparently according to various medical website, but it is more prevalent in less clean countries. It causes stomach problems, ulcers, and can go on to cancer in some.

Why would God change his mind to promote behaviour that is harmful to humans? He wouldn't in my view. So stop writing such hand-wringing drivel.

2 March 2014 at 20:47  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Alan Wilson

"There are various traditional ways of interpreting the almost 6/31,273 verses in the Bible that possibly bear at all on what we call "homosexuality." Not all of them are hostile to gay people"

None of them are hostile to Gay people but state that homosexual practice is not what God intended for our flourishing.

My view is if you open the door to this you may as well decide that three or four person marriages are just a valid in God eyes. Because they fulfill all of the criteria currently used to justify homosexual marriages.

OK I will rephrase and ask the question for the third time. Does God look down from heaven and say to two people having homosexual sex and think that this is a good thing? Don't dodge and say I should ask God because I am asking your opinion as a Bishop. Yes not no will do. (I am assuming that you think that God would consider Gay sex to be a good thing but I would not like to misrepresent you) So who was wrong Paul or Jesus or were they both just mistaken?

A clear answer please just like if I was saying that my family was poor. I had a gun and I felt that it was right to murder the family next door because they had plenty and my family had none. Would God agree to the murder?

I am not comparing homosexual acts as being comparable to murder but if your could give a clear answer to the second (Which presumably you could?) you presumably could give an unambiguous answer to the first.


2 March 2014 at 20:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Bishop Alan

"Incidentally, the ACP is a ginger group not a professional body like AAP"

If you read the link you will see a real story about what it is like to grow up in a homosexual household.

Time will tell who is right but right now? The evidence is not looking good at all.


2 March 2014 at 21:00  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

On the subject of Terence Higgins, did you know that his sexual partner of preference at the time of his death is still alive. Well, he was the last time this man looked into it. He went on to have a career in health research, so one recalls. He’s a poorly man, having been ill for years and having been ravaged by disease associated with the gay way. You could say that God has abandoned him...

2 March 2014 at 21:03  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Anyway its 7 not six, plus an argument from absence. Whilst argument from absences are often rather weak, this particular one is rather strong, given that Jesus never hesitated to challenge the popular mores overtly and at risk to his own life.

The whole gay thing is predicated on a rejection of the opposite sex. That is a not a very cheery scenario but is largely passed over these days. Therapy is caricatured as abuse, even if the person has changed orientation as a result of abuse, and I have known teenagers for whom that is true. Sometimes people are too busy being PC to be really caring, which is just awful. If there is a block to appreciating the opposite sex it needs dealing with, not cementing in place and celebrating.

2 March 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Miss Mullen has a point, Bishop Allen. Following the fashionable appetites of the age can be awful; one thinks of the time when Black people were deemed to be non-human or sub-human, a convenience which justified the slave trade, and many religious people went along with that without a smidgen of real life evidence or support from scripture or tradition. Such are the risks of "theological creativity."

2 March 2014 at 21:17  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Phil Groom wrote

“Like St Peter in prayer on the rooftop, who found himself confounded by God’s apparent change of attitude towards the things and people he believed that God had declared unclean, I too was confounded; but also like Peter, seeing God transforming the lives of those whom I once regarded as unclean, I am set free and I ask, “Who am I — who are we, the Church — to deny blessing to those whom God is blessing?””

This is exceptionally bad reasoning. The context of the Acts 10 quote was that the Holy Spirit of God was telling Peter that he must preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. God was not 'changing His attitude' but bringing his promise to Abraham to fulfilment 'In you will all the families of the Earth be blessed' And thank God for that!

Although the Hebrews were God's chosen people, as we read in Isaiah it was always God's intention that Jesus would become a light for the nations. Furthermore, we read that Jesus 'pronounced all foods clean'. So Peter's vision was given to help him overcome his Jewish culture to reach non Jews men with the Gospel of repentance. The whole passage makes this very clear.

To reason from Peter's vision in Acts 10 to argue that we can fall into line with an argument from emotion that our culture is making is quite exceptionally bad theology.

It wasn't so much Pilling's outcome that was the last straw for me, but the biblically soggy post-modernist 'whatever' process by which it was arrived at. 'Indaba' and 'facilitated conversation' my FHA.

If any further proof was necessary.....

2 March 2014 at 21:28  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Phil Roberts asked "Does God look down from heaven and say to two people having homosexual sex and think that this is a good thing?"

I will be charitable enough to provide a hint to the answer: God made it physically possible for two adults of different sexes to sexually unite. God made it physically impossible for two adults of the same sex to sexually unite.

2 March 2014 at 21:30  
Blogger Roy said...

If there is a Heaven it must be a bit like Mardi Gras. Everyone just being totally themselves regardless of gender, race, creed or sexuality and everyone else being totally

I guess Heaven and Hell are really the same place and it’s just a matter of perspective.

So, Heaven must be a bit like the offices of the BBC, or perhaps it is Hell that is like them. I suppose it depends on your prospective.

2 March 2014 at 21:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Is it Happy Jack misunderstanding Proverbs 24:24 and 24:25?

Alan Wilson would do well to read them:

"He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them."

Is homosexual sex guilty or innocent behaviour? It seems to Jack this bishop is keen to dodge giving a straight forward answer.

2 March 2014 at 22:05  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! My Lord of Buckingham, please call in at the Palace when you have a moment or two; it is not often that we have a prelate amongst us, and my Lord of Barchester would so love to chat.

2 March 2014 at 22:16  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, one can see in the utterings of Bishop Alan and the homosexual lobby the familiar pattern of Marx-Leninist ideological subversion techniques; demoralisation, destabilisation, insurgency/crisis, normalisation. It seems that the leadership of the CofE is losing sight of the risks inherent in these techniques and is in danger of being demoralised and overwhelmed by the guilt trip being propagated by Bishop Alan. All the more so since Cameron's gravely misconceived initiative on SSM which naturally boosts the moral vanity of Bishop Alan and his cohort. That Bishop Alan's movement is in direct contravention to the teaching of Christ, the scriptures and thousands of years of Judeo-Christian practice cannot be ignored by the CofE leadership. But can the CofE leadership win this battle of wills?

The CofE leadership needs to focus on some simple arithmetic. While homosexauals are generally considered to be just 1.5% of the population, within the CofE it seems likely that the percentage may be much higher, say 10-20%, thus amplifying their voice within the Church. We have all read suggestions that the percentage of homosexuals within the Roman Church is even higher still. Many communicants have speculated that the CofE custom of seeking the via media is impossible in this matter. What then if the leadership agrees and is prepared to lose that 10-20% of the priesthood who may dissent to retaining the existing order? Well, let them go. The alternative would be for the CofE to lose 75-100% of it's remaining congregation, stressed as they already are by the prospect of bishopettes.

A very fine post, Mr RSA @ 20.36

2 March 2014 at 22:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Rambling Steve

"He also confirmed without any prompting that the prosperity gospel rip off was very strong in some Nigerian churches."

This is a noticeable fact. On average Christians drink less, stay married, invest in their children and so improve their lifestyle.

The effects may be marginal However, following God's laws tend to lead to human flourishing in all areas.


2 March 2014 at 22:29  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Bluedog

I think the question of female clergy has little to no relationship with sexual purity, and Bishopette is an unnecessarily patronisng nomenclature.

Given that part of the problem is that there has been too much focus on men talking about men and sexuality, without taking into full account that their sexuality was given for the primary purpose of procreation and that put basically the function of sperm is to find an egg and fertilise it, putting females down doesn't help see things in better perspective.

Given that that is the primary function of sperm it is beyond extraordinary that anyone should suggest that a relationship in which its primary function is unfulfillable could be equal to one in which its primary purpose is fulfillable.

Insanity; the Emperor has no clothes.

2 March 2014 at 23:03  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Lucy, very well said in your last paragraph. 23:03

2 March 2014 at 23:21  
Blogger bluedog said...

Lucy @ 23.03 says, 'Bishopette is an unnecessarily patronisng nomenclature.'

Somewhat subjective. Perhaps you could advise the correct and appropriately inoffensive terminology for a non-male bishop, given the apparent need to distinguish between male and female bishops.

2 March 2014 at 23:26  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Bluedog, one suspects that when the sad day arrives, bishopettes will be calling themselves the gender neutral ‘Area Manager’

2 March 2014 at 23:43  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Although not specifically comparing the welfare of children in heterosexual and homosexual households, figures 5-1 to 5-4 of this report from the US Department of Health and Human Services show that children are at least risk of maltreatment, abuse (physical, sexual and emotional) and neglect (physical, emotional and educational) from their married biological parents. Scroll about a third through the PDF for the figures.

2 March 2014 at 23:51  
Blogger bluedog said...

Indeed, Mr Inspector @ 23.43w.

It seems somewhat perverse that estimable communicant Lucy Mullen can oppose gender neutral marriage while simultaneously appearing to support gender neutral bishops. Is the widely used term 'priestess' patronising for example? Or is it merely bishopette?

Admittedly 'bishopette' sounds not unlike 'usherette', but to object to the term 'bishopette' on that basis would seem to implicitly and unjustly denigrate the calling of the usherette.

Perhaps we will be directed to the prosaic and clumsy term 'woman bishop'.

Waiting with bated breath.

2 March 2014 at 23:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

At last, the approved CoE hymn for gay partnership blessings...

“Here comes the bride
Likes anal sex
Take off his dress
And admire his pects”

I thank you...


3 March 2014 at 00:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I was intrigued by Bishop Alan Wilson's reply to Phil above, where he suggests bringing the question to God.

I'll make it clear that I'm not interested in debating homosexuality; my question relates to knowing God's mind. Perhaps the Bishop could illuminate us as to how he envisages doing so.

For myself, I favour prayer, and when I feel that God is leading me to do something or leading me towards an understanding, I ask other mature Christians in my church to pray with me. However, we have one constant, which is Scripture. We test messages and doctrines against it, and if we find that the spirit which exhorts us in one direction is leading us away from Scripture, we rebuke it, for we know that God will not speak against His own Word.

Does the CofE share this approach?

3 March 2014 at 00:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Just think Inspector, if this madness engulfs Roman Catholicism, and there are signs it might, you'll end up with 'Popettes' running the firm!

3 March 2014 at 00:37  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

As for texts on homosexuality, here are some comments from Joseph Fitzmyer, not exactly a bastion of conservatism, in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, re: the term "arsenokoitai" (sometimes translated "men who have sex with men) in 1 Cor 6:

The meaning of the term is clear and denotes the active partner in same-sex (anal) intercourse with another male (256)

De Young ("The Source") suggests that Paul himself probably coined the word from LXX Lev 20:13 (257)

Because of its relatively rare occurrence, some writers have contested the meaning of the term here in Paul's letter, and considerable debate has surrounded the understanding of this term, the meaning of which is per se clear and is in no way limited to pederasty. No Pauline text expresses even a qualified approval of such same-sex activity (257)

Paul has simply repeated the attitude of his own Jewish tradition about homosexual activity, which has been said to have been "unique in the ancient world" (Wenham, "Old Testament Attitude," 360) (257)

As Malick has put it, "Paul's prohibitions against homosexuality were indeed against all forms of sexual relationships between persons of the same sex" ("Condemnation," 479), and not "only 'abuses' in homosexual behaviour" (ibid., 492). (258)

3 March 2014 at 00:42  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ bluedog
Entirely logical. I understand and have been through the texts. I am agnostic/probably end up yes re women Bishops; such a tough job actually I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to do it, & pro women priests, but then I have effectively had those since the year dot through going to single sex private C of E schools, so a big yawn there.

Nothing whatever odd in the mixture. Actually the Anglican Evangelical clergyman through whose rather amazing ministry I came to a living faith decades ago is of the same opinions, and is a highly regarded N.T. scholar. It is indeed a very usual opinion amongst Evangelical Anglicans, a bit of a snore really!!

3 March 2014 at 01:30  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Correction to above: some headmistresses of C of E private schools really regarded themselves as on a par with Archbishops, I seem to recall, and Bishops were probably rather deferential to them on their own turf. Known for prowling through assembled parents to find the most high status speech maker who was then expected to ad lib a vote of thanks to her after her mighty oration.

No man was known to refuse.

3 March 2014 at 01:48  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 March 2014 at 02:32  
Blogger non mouse said...

I respond as a woman who opposes the CoE's interest in bishopettes and priestesses, and as one who is generally anti-feminism. I think, nevertheless, that women have their parts to play in Church administration. Otherwise there'd have been no Hilda of Whitby (AD614-80; she who oversaw the education of both men and women at a double monastery).

At least part of my position springs from consideration of feminism as an arm of the marxist-deconstructionism: and its campaign against western civilisation. By setting women and men against each other, feminism serves to support the communistic steps Mr. bluedog numbers @ 22:21. And it also keeps us busy while the homosexuals gain power.

However, feminism is not only about relationships with men. Neither is homosexuality, and I suspect the female of that species of being at least as deadly as the male. Feminist females, also, are utterly vicious to other women - especially those who disagree with them, or who dislike lezzos.

Thus while I believe we should object when men gratuitously disparage women, I cannot stand with either gender against the other. I believe that individual qualities of sensitivity, gentleness, understanding, intelligence ... etc. do not stem from gender, but are nurtured into fruition. People do not make better managers or professionals by a 'default of gender'(quite the opposite), and the world is not a better place because of a so-called feminised (touchy-feely) approach to politics and government.

It is all about power, really, this philosophical, ideological fuss. But warrior nations have always relied on women to keep the Homeland running while the men were at war, and returning injured (remember the likes of Margaret Beaufort AD1443-1509? Mother of HVII?). Yet where has it ever been proved that matriarchies are better than patriarchies? The Amazon system didn't exactly catch on, did it?

If, however,present-day lefty Church leaders succeed in subjugating both men and women to an oligarchy of homosexuals .... In the end, it seems that post-modern "normalisation" will impose the practices others here have mentioned (polygamy, etc). The horror of it is only exacerbated by the weakness of the Church in response to the pressures.

Why are they doing it? Can we turn it around? How?

3 March 2014 at 02:45  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 March 2014 at 03:19  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Let me start out by saying that my view is that weak men are the biggest problem in the CofE

We would not be having this discussion now on homosexuality if it was not for the fact that the Bible was "adjusted" to allow women priests and further adjusted to allow women Bishops or whatever they eventually decide to call themselves.

There seems to be a downward spiral with the next inevitably following on from the first.

Women priests then Bishops, questioning the relevance of the certain texts in the bible and certain authors. Most "out of fashion" seems to be currently (and it does change) Genesis and the Paul's letters. Once the Bible ceases to be used as a reference point tolerance then acceptance of homosexuality as being equal to marriage follow quickly as we have seen. After that we look at TEC to see the road ahead. You have abortion as a blessing, universalism, pagan symbolism coming into church and unlimited sexual expression. (I couple of years ago I chatted with a CofE priest who to my utter incredulity stated that all sexual expression is good and we should not feel guilty about sexual relations before marriage, outside of marriage, all sex is good I was told as long as it was consensual. This of of course paganism in its essence so perhaps I should not have been so surprised.

As I said I am not blaming women I am blaming the men. Men have not taken our leadership and gender responsibilities seriously and this is may be more sinful in God's eyes (As it is ultimately more destructive) than all of the list of sexual and other sins the previous paragraph.

We are way down the slippery slope now and it will take a lot more than a bit of tweaking to fix it and it will need to start with the men behaving as men.


3 March 2014 at 03:30  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Non Mouse


Where I worked in Africa the traditional culture was matriarchal. It absolutely did not work as far as I could tell but had been going for many hundreds of years. The men did minimum work, the women did everything and in their history they had never resisted an invader or put up much of a resistance to slavery (They were considered ideal slaves apparently)

Their utopia it seems was 2 or 3 wives to do all the work and a large plot of land.

In many ways they were lovely people with almost no aggression and extremely helpful and deferential. Like a whole country full of men that in many ways behaved like traditional CofE vicars.


3 March 2014 at 03:47  
Blogger Len said...

There is quite a shock coming to 'traditional' Catholics and Christians of all denominations.

Christians watch and weep.

3 March 2014 at 08:30  
Blogger Flossie said...

The Ould twins are quite fearless when confronting error, so I was pleased but not surprised to see this head-on from the Revd David.

The homosexualist movement will eventually burn itself out as it has nowhere to go, and is built on the shifting sands of the zeitgeist (we should take comfort from the parable of the sower)and where will that leave people like Bishop Alan Wilson and his little troupe of groupies?

It is they who are the true homophobes, giving comfort and succour to unscriptural patterns of behaviour which can only harm.

3 March 2014 at 09:19  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

I think the term 'priestess' is perfectly acceptable but prefer 'bishopess' to 'bishopette'

3 March 2014 at 09:29  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Mrs Proudie

If Mr Slope were a bishop, what do you think he would like to be called?

3 March 2014 at 09:46  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you Mrs Proudie @ 0929.

There are of course other names for clergy that may benefit from a feminine version. The prospect of a Vicarene excites, but so far Minster and Rector are proving difficult, especially the latter. This communicant fondly recalls a delightful girlfriend whose address was The Old Rectory. On his return from frequent, sometimes lengthy, visits the writer was invariably greeted by his father with a joke of leaden predictability.

3 March 2014 at 09:51  
Blogger The Explorer said...

The environment in which I grew up was very macho.

Boys don't cry. Jesus wept. Jesus was a poof.

The proponents of such a view, in their maturity, must be staggered that traditional Christianity - with its 'loving your neighbour' nonsense - should be seen as patriarchal, and that it should be the principle bulwark against homosexual marriage.

3 March 2014 at 10:06  
Blogger The Explorer said...

principal: dratted spell checker!

3 March 2014 at 10:08  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

The letter by Phil Groom is personally perturbing. His self-description of his early faith mirrors mine ... "I was brought up as a free-church, conservative evangelical. The Bible, prayer and church were the bedrock of my early life: I read the Bible and prayed daily, more than daily; I attended the Christian Union at school and at college; and I became a Sunday School teacher and a street evangelist whilst still in my teenage years. I knew the Bible better than any of my contemporaries and was referred to as ‘the living concordance’, such was my enthusiasm; and I knew — or rather, believed I knew — what the Bible taught about sexuality"

This worries me. What if I too start to look to the Guardian for my theology rather than scripture.

I can empathise because I've seen others take the same path. They love Jesus and serve Him wholeheartedly. Then they become convinced the only way to serve Him is by becoming ordained or getting into full-time ministry. They go to college and start reading books about the Bible, and debates about the Bible, and - before they realise - the evangelistic fire has gone out. Love for the work of the Lord subtlly replaces the first love, a love for the Lord of the work. Doctrine is determined by the Guardian and theological text books rather than by Scripture & the Holy Spirit. The hierarchy of the CofE and many Bible colleges are full of their sort.

The debate about SSM is ridiculous. It is a settled matter but it has got muddied because we are so far down the 'slippery slope' we can't remember what the view was like from the top of the slope. Let me remind you...

Same sex 'marriage' is an abomination as are Civil Partnerships. Fornication is sin. Adultery is sin. Divorce except on the grounds of adultery is sin. And remarriage following such a divorce is to commit adultery.

Marriage is a sacred, lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. It symbolises the relationship between Christ and the church.

Just because you know someone who is happily in a CP or someone who is happily divorced or happily remarried or happily fornicating or happily committing adultery does not change anything. These are hard teachings. They are now just as they were in Jesus' day ... He said so explicitly.

Get over it. Get with the program ... the one God ordained, not Stonewall, or David Cameron, or the House of Bishops.

3 March 2014 at 10:11  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you non mouse @ 02.45, and you ask, 'Why are they doing it?'.

The answer is surely the same as the reasons for the capture of the BBC as a propaganda arm of the homosexual advancement movement, they seek to dominate the debate on they own terms. Overcoming the resistance of the State Church to same sex marriage is a natural sequel to the enactment of the SSM Bill. The Churches retain great moral power, and if the CofE can be bent to the will of Big Gay, in the Inspector's happy term, it will be a remarkable coup.

How will CofE schools be able to resist becoming vectors of homosexual misinformation? The answer is they will not. Innocents will be brainwashed from the day they first jump out of the SUV and run into the school yard. Normalisation is the word. Expect conditioning of the populace for a gay or lesbian Archbishop of Canterbury subsequent to victory over the CofE in the current battle.

The importance of the battle for influence now being fought cannot be overstated. When communicants as well-informed and astute as AIB say that they are not interested in homosexuality they are, with respect, completely missing the point. Homosexual acceptance is the outward sign of a profound theological revolution being forced upon the CofE. If the CofE falls, the Roman Church and other denominations will be subject to extraordinary moral blackmail to follow suit.

3 March 2014 at 10:16  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Men who lack the courage to defend the Christian faith are not worthy of it.

Show me a man stripped of his comforts, his salary, his liberty and bears the marks of suffering. A man like this I will heed, not these impostors.

From Jeremiah 23

To Bishop Wilson: Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

To Phil Groom: Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

3 March 2014 at 11:37  
Blogger Len said...

'Christless' Christianity is basically what the church is following today.

The Glory has left the Temple and no one has noticed yet.
The social programmes go on, services are held , hymns sung, sermons preached
but the parishioners have noticed and started leaving. I wonder when the Bishops will notice?.Perhaps when the Church is totally empty and all they can hear is their voices echoing in the empty halls?.

3 March 2014 at 12:24  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Phil

A society in which men sit under the trees discussing politics and taking all the big decisions and being waited on by the women who do the vast majority of the work is not matriarchal!! The ones loafing are the ones having things their own way; unfortunate that their own way is laziness but that is still having their own way.

It might be that we are not as far from that society as you think. I have experienced a situation some years back where there was a conscientious man working all hours on a section of a company. We all admired him, until we realised that it was because things were such an appalling mess that he had totally lost control; hence vast amounts of overtime. A woman took over and sorted the mess methodically until the segment worked to normal times, calmly and efficiently. Once this lady (not me!!) had done all the hard work a man was promoted to lead the section above her, and paid more, and could drift around , attend executive meetings at which the men chatted and made decisions and so on. That was not a matriarchal system either!!

3 March 2014 at 12:41  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Rebel Saint

I mostly agree but there are also other situations in which divorce is the necessary option, namely danger to life and limb of either the spouse or the children, or dangerous insanity of one person, but I doubt many would disagree there.

3 March 2014 at 12:48  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


"A society in which men sit under the trees discussing politics and taking all the big decisions and being waited on by the women who do the vast majority of the work is not matriarchal"

That was my opinion as well. Although the sociologists ( or who ever it is that studies cultures) decided otherwise as the wife of the Chief had huge power and the next chief was selected by whom the eldest daughter of the Chief was currently married to.

Also, parents were not expected to make decisions for their own children or provide for them over and above the necessity. Schooling, marriage etc was decided by another family usually an uncle or aunt who had the big decisions and responsibilities for your children. They also provided a safety net in the event of parents dying (a frequent occurrence) and not being able to provide for their children.

Anyway. To me it didn't work. Most Christian Africans worked on the Western model of say the 1940s it seemed.


3 March 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

bluedog, Happy Jack agrees with this: "If the CofE falls, the Roman Church and other denominations will be subject to extraordinary moral blackmail to follow suit". It has already been happening.

The Roman Catholic Church, from one perspective, is a prisoner of its past rigid, inflexible dogma and teachings which cannot change because it has defined these as infallible. And from another perspective, it is indefectible and its past teachings are unchangeable because they are the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is the fight going on within this church at this time and has been for a couple of generations. It is getting very messy too as the issues of women priests, contraception, abortion, homosexual relationships, as well as divorce and access to the Eucharist, are becoming more contentious and public.

3 March 2014 at 14:46  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Phil One has read that in villages, African women indeed do all the domestic work, and always have done. The men traditionally assembled before noon in the centre to prepare for the days hunt which could take them around six hours to complete. The hunts haven’t taken place for decades now, but this tradition lives on, with the men talking for a few hours before dispersing. Presumably to go back and watch the women work, and to await the next meal prepared for them.

An astonishingly small c conservative lot, who are thus unlikely to be swayed by western opinion of their savage anti gay laws, unless their social security cheques from the rest of the world stop entirely. Perhaps then they might get off their sun kissed behinds and actually DO something with their lives…

3 March 2014 at 18:17  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Phil Roberts @ 22.29 yesterday

I couldn't agree more...Wesley ran into this 'problem' with his congregations becoming upwardly mobile due to what we might call clean living. Yes godly behaviour will generally prosper and stupid behaviour e.g. gambling, TV addiction, laziness tends to poverty (I said 'tends'). The prosperity 'gospel' begins with sound doctrine but takes it to an extreme level and adds the sin of simony.

As I think dear old C S Lewis more or less said, most heresies are truths taken to an extreme level so that other balancing truths are neglected.

As I said, I digress. But perhaps not so much. After all, the 'rainbow gospel of love, equality and acceptance' is being used here to endorse sexual sin.

3 March 2014 at 21:11  
Blogger Len said...

The doctrines of the Roman Church have already changed(well 'appeared to' anyway) but no one seems to have noticed this yet?.
The doctrines of the Roman Church are constantly changing(unlike the Word of God)
Pope Francis is 'changing the doctrines' ...And 'the doctrinal truth' is whatever he says it is ... to Catholics anyway. Pope Francis assures atheists:' You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven'.

Whatever next?.

4 March 2014 at 18:03  

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