Saturday, 24 November 2012

Where can we go, sisters & brothers?

Again, in today's Guardian Zoe Williams asks the (alas, unnecessary) question [here]  as to where feminist Anglicans could defect, now that their intransigence has lost them, temporarily, the vote on women bishops. 
She makes all kinds of suggestions from the Quakers to the Lutherans. However, the article ends with this quotation from a feminist Christian:
"If you won't stay and fight, you're not in the wrong church, you're in the wrong bloody religion. Whatever Christianity offers, it is not a place of safety, where you remain unchallenged."
I couldn't agree more - it sums up the thinking of many of us - and that, as they say, is our problem: what to do when our Communion contains so many incompatible theologies, all of which believe (with some historical justification)  they have a perfect right to belong there?

Perhaps there should be an exception : the logical destination for revisionist liberals (of either sex) is pictured below - because, ineluctably, step by step, this is the direction their theology is taking us:

  Richard Dawkins & a Christmas tree 

"...For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. ... the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are a matter of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentimemt and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. ... As to Religion, it is a private luxury which a man may have if he will; but which of course he must pay for, and which he must not intrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance..."
"... it must be borne in mind, that there is much in the liberalistic theory which is good and true; for example, not to say more, the precepts of justice, truthfulness, sobriety, self-command, benevolence, which, as I have already noted, are among its avowed principles, and the natural laws of society. It is not till we find that this array of principles is intended to supersede, to block out, religion, that we pronounce it to be evil. There never was a device of the Enemy so cleverly framed and with such promise of success...." 
Bl John Henry Newman: Biglietto Speech of 1879 [in full here]


  1. They have threatened to leave before but they know where they are well off. Campaigners have lied, cheated and displayed none of the Christian virtues. What Christian group would want them?

  2. Here are some reflections for what they are worth, which on the face of it are varied but, I believe, spring from the same root and maybe resonate with some of the issues above.

    There have been many cultural changes since the great wars, not least the enfranchisement of women.

    The sixties saw a sharp rise in affluence, and other worldly attractions drew people out of the church.

    Many British citizens (into the second generation now) have never attended church or been introduced to the Christian faith. Traditional assemblies in most schools have ceased -
    a result of government anti-discriminatory laws, however well meant they be.

    Disgraceful acts of child sexual abuse by priests in churches children's homes and schools have irreparapbly tainted the reputation of the church and all that it should stand for.

    Perhaps the growing phenomenon that many people in our nation are reaching out for anything spiritual which promises justice, truthfulness, sobriety,self-command, peace,love,happiness etc.etc. is a green shoot of hope to which the Christian church should be ready to respond.

    Sadly the church is broken, divided and brimming with anger.Totally unfit for purpose.

    The way forward, perhaps, is for us, 'the church' to become united in purpose - to recall our mission.
    But first we must, TOGETHER, return to our Spiritual Father in penitence and faith, asking that we might be cleansed and renewed in HIS power, NOT OUR OWN.
    Then the way will become clear to us and we can move as one body as Christ intended. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

    This is, I believe, our Reformation

    Helen R


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