March 18, 2013

More Walking Apart

It seems that the usual suspect Primates are threatening a boycott of at least part of the festivities surrounding the enthronization of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

If Archbishop Justin is wise, he will say to them what any wise pastor would to a recalcitrant parishioner: I'm very sorry you feel that way, and hope you will find a parish that meets your spiritual needs. The one great thing to get over is the fear of "losing" people. Those who "choose to walk apart" are not lost, they're just heading in a different direction. Who know but that the paths may again converge somewhere down the line...?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

5 comments:

Deacon Charlie Perrin said...

We will soon find out what kind of ABC Welby will be.

These recalcitrant Primates have expressed the desire that the ABC be more like a Pope. Can you imagine what would happen if a group of Roman prelates did the same thing to Francis?

Bill Ghrist said...

Tobias, I half agree with you, but these people are not quite in the same category as typical parishioners--these are people who are supposedly modeling for millions of their "parishioners" what it is like to be a follower of Jesus.

Why are they so reluctant to socialize with those they regard as wrong? Is it because they are afraid that people might think they agree with the "apostates"? Is it because they are afraid that their own minds might change a little if they expose themselves to other ideas?

Jesus did not refuse to dine with those who were branded as sinners. Jesus did not refuse to dine with those who branded him as a sinner. He placed his love of all God's people above any threats to his own reputation. Should not those who claim to represent him do likewise?

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks Deacon Charlie. I'm hoping for some spine...

Bill, Bill, I echo Mimi's sentiments. I think they should attend, but no one can make them do so. Their idea of the church is a pure society in which all agree and can therefore meet (the Global South has several time mis-applied the verse, "Can two walk together unless they agree..." [Amos 3.3.] leaving out the important "...to meet"). This is, as you point out, entirely the opposite of Jesus' approach. Still, one can hope!

Bryan Hunter said...

Bill, it is a straw man and a red herring for you to assume that those of us who (presumably) disagree with you on certain issues of theology, morality, and church polity shun (i.e., "refuse to socialize with") certain people. That is patently false and untrue. Now, you haven't stated it outright, but it's clear you're speaking of those who practice homosexuality. I'm also quite sure that there are those in more orthodox parishes who are unkind and inhospitable to practicing homosexuals. I believe that the idea of gay marriage is absurd--that it goes against scripture, tradition, and reason--but I would denounce in the strongest terms anyone who treats gays in any way other than with love and hospitality. Furthermore, I have heard my own bishop, Mark Lawrence, on more than one occasion, get quite heated when addressing this issue. On these very public occasions he has stated unequivocally that there is absolutely no place for a Christian speak disparagingly of homosexuals--whether that is outright mean-spirited talk or the cruel "harmless" joke--but rather we should treat homosexuals with love and genuine hospitality (which means befriending them and developing meaningful relationships with them).

I disapprove of gay marriage, but I have numerous gay friends, neighbors, business associates, etc. I sincerely wish that I could simply concede the point as I truly sympathize with gay couples who wish to marry; but as should always be the case for each of us, my beliefs on the matter supersede my sympathies.

If I may respectfully suggest that painting people--especially those with whom one disagrees--with a broad brush (i.e., referring to them as the ubiquitous "they") is just not helpful and it is a conversation stopper. Thus we can agree to disagree in charity without consigning each other to a convenient box which is too easily discarded.

Kind regards,

B. Hunter

Tobias Haller said...

Bryan, in this case, I think it is you who paint with too broad, though charitable, a brush.

Bill is referring to the Primates of the Global South -- that is the specific "they" he is referencing, and they have been distinctly "inhospitable" -- far from merely disapproving of same-sex marriage, they want to criminalize not only such marriage itself (with up to a life sentence in some cases) but even criminalizing verbal support for it. So it would be appropriate for you to join Bill in denouncing such behavior, as you say you would.

The point is that far from befriending gay and lesbian persons, these Primates have protested meeting even with anyone who is their friend by association -- so they are even further apart. It is not just that they disagree -- as you do -- but that they refuse to have any fellowship with those with whom they disagree. It is these Primates who have put others into boxes and refused to have anything to do with them.