A TIME TO GATHER STONES TOGETHER

The inclusive church movement is going through a purple patch at the moment. There are enough positive things happening to give us cause to, at least, contemplate that the snowball is gathering momentum and, even, hope more realistically that we will see a tangible justice within our lifetimes.

The gay hate bill before the Ugandan government has been roundly condemned by the international community but last week protests against it started to take shape in Uganda itself. The bravery of these prophets in their own land adds enormous value to the universal campaign against the superstitious power abusers who would lay such a vile injustice on their own people.

The passing of the bill that will allow same sex marriages to take place in English places of worship is another huge breakthrough. The fact that so many church people, up to and including those with the rank of bishop, plus leaders from other religions, used its passage through the House of Lords to pin their true and supportive colours to the post is particularly telling.

But there is a lot of other stuff going down away from the direct control of the Anglican Head Office that is very interesting. Last week a group of five, inclusive minded, Canadian bishops met with five, not exactly inclusive but definitely open minded, bishops from Africa at Lambeth. This meeting was part of an ongoing conversation initiated by those concerned that had already seen the exchange of much theological correspondence between the dioceses concerned.

Of course, it is too early to expect great, world changing pronouncements to issue forth from such meetings but they will come eventually. We know from experience that change always comes from the grass roots and is taken up by the powerful when they perceive political advantage in doing so. Ironically, these conversations come out of the Grand Tufti's imposition of small group conversations at the various synods and conferences he has been responsible for over the last few years. Unfortunately, it appears that the only negative aspect of last week's meeting of bishops was the attitude of the important people from Head Office who sat in on some of the sessions. These people talked at the delegates and left far too little time to listen to them. Also, they are showing a definite antagonism towards the idea of such initiatives taking place outside of their control. They want conversation, or so they say, but they also wish to be in control of who talks to who and where and when. But such centrally controlled debate has been shown to be manipulative and bogus by the appointment in the past of such people as Archbishop Gomez as head of the covenant enforcement group and Phil Groves as facilitator of the "listen to me process." The dominance of such people in the Grand Tufti's appointments leads me, personally, to assume that there is a definite loading of the debate and process in favour of extreme conservatives. But the bishops of the Communion are not all stupid and the more worldly wise ones have sussed out what is going on. And these same bishops are not sycophants either. So it was obvious from the beginning that they would eventually start conversations away from the heavy handed control of the movers and shakers of Head Office.

Comments

A TIME TO GATHER STONES TOGETHER — 12 Comments

  1. Yes, at some point, this horse will bolt the traces, and the Tufti and his crew will not be able to control what happens. I feel that his adoption of the conservative position in the WWAC has been an attempt not to be held accountable for the breakup of the Communion, but that is happening anyway, especially if the Africans under Akinola’s influence sign the Covenant and allow dissident US dioceses in TEC to do the same. He has lost that fight already.

  2. You notice that the Head Office went with the more compliant, or are they just polite, bishops from Canada. He would never have chosen anyone from the US, except maybe the ABC sycophant who thinks he runs Central Florida!

    •••••
    word verification = snesca
    I am sure that must be Inuktitut for shit!

  3. Good to know that there are such interesting talks going on under the radar. On the other hand, is this so subversive or so inconsequential that we can’t be told through official media such as The (Canadian) Anglican Journal? Just wondering. And wondering which bishops took the initiative.

  4. Peon that I am, I have inadvertently walked into this disconnect in my attempts to learn how I can support the church’s efforts to come along side glbt individuals who find themselves in harm’s way in Africa. I acknowledge the steep learning curve that the inclusive have to climb in order to understand a culture regarding which we are clueless, but while the AC at different levels attempts to move forward together, who visits those who are literally and figuratively imprisoned. With the exception of IntegrityUganda, which Integrity USA supports, I have found only cricket song. I would love to know if anyone knows of other efforts.

  5. You know, forget for a moment, what they are doing, let’s talk about us.

    Why is it that every self-described liberal or progressive in a leadership position seems to regard calling these people out as mediocrities, spoiled adolescents, and out-and-out liars as some sort of great sin? You can find them calmly “controlling” themselves in “debate,” fanning their little vapored bosoms, as some . . . animal in human clothing calling itself a conservative Christian savages their flock. If one of those flock says of these people – these “christian” conservatives – “Cut them off!” then the same controlled liberal will have a screaming hissy fit – at their fellow liberal!

    Why do we have all these self-loathing liberals leading us. We need generals in war, not hissing drama queens. Why can’t we acknowledge that, while we can and must care for these “conservative christians,” they are not our brothers and sisters and don’t worship the same God, and don’t deserve a place in leadership or public opinion?

    Of course, I’m just crazy, as I’m reminded whenever I have an unpopular opinion. It takes all these sane people to create so much chaos, confusion and absolute desolation of soul and heart.

  6. Mark
    I’m not sure (as in, I really don’t know) if cutting off the haters is a good idea because I don’t know how this will effect gay people under the jurisdiction of the haters.
    But, it would be good to have liberal leaders who were confident enough to publicly state that they are right and the haters are absolutely wrong.

  7. I’m not talking about just cutting them off from us.

    I’m not sure that it’s not time to start cutting them off – period. They wish to create their own holy little ghettos, make it so they have no other option. If they wish to enjoy the benefits of a larger society, they must learn to adapt.

    As for telling people the haters are wrong, that’s not strong enough. You have to get their attention – make sure they know the haters are not just wrong, but dangerous, violent and aggressive. If you see a rabid dog, wouldn’t explain canine diseases to your neighborhood, you’d yell “Mad dog!”

  8. That’s certainly my style, Mark. When they make me Archbishop of Canterbury there will be some changes. I can promise you that 🙂

  9. I guess my point was, if liberal “leaders” want to waste their personal, private time trying to teach conservative pigs to sing, they are welcome to.

    At this point, their doing so with our time and money and with our emotional and psychological damage at risk.