Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sleeping with the enemy...?

More on the dangers inherent in intellectual flirtation with ideologies alien to the faith from The Telegraph [here]
Reporting on the new Archbishop of Canterbury's presidential address to the Church of England's General Synod in York, John Bingham writes: 
"....In a deliberate echo of Harold MacMillan’s (sic) 1950 speech which attacked apartheid in South Africa, the Archbishop warned church leaders that they needed to reassess their own attitudes to gay people – even if they do not “like it”.
While insisting he had no immediate plans to change policy on issues such as gay marriage, he announced a major campaign to curb anti-gay bullying in the Church of England’s more than 5,000 schools.
He is understood to have approached Stonewall, which led the campaign in favour of gay marriage, to invite it into church schools to teach up to a million children about homosexuality.
“We may or may not like it but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality,” the Archbishop said....."
'Journalese' aside (since when was the Church's theology of human sexuality a 'policy?'), this can only be the signal (and an open encouragement) for an impending change in the Church of England's stance and another departure from traditional Christian teaching which will have profound ecumenical repercussions. 
If such organisations as Stonewall were to be invited into Anglican schools, how would it be practically possible for the Church of England's educational establishments to maintain and defend (as far as the law will allow) the Church's 'current'  teaching on human sexuality, something the Archbishop admits already provokes widespread 'noticeable hostility?' 
I suspect there is really no intention of so doing and that we are seeing the beginning of a not-so-subtle shift by the Church of England (following - always - in the wake of its counterpart in the U.S.A. ) in favour of  current secular social attitudes, something, of course, increasingly demanded of it by the British State. 
One correspondent has described Archbishop Welby's speech [here] as 'Erastian idiocy;' I will make no comment on that except to say that the address seems theologically and intellectually full to the brim with irreconcilable contradictions, none of which can possibly (one hopes) have escaped its author... *

* I don't want to be unfairly dismissive of the Archbishop's address in total; he said some necessary things, but there is always a danger, when speaking about such a highly politicised situation as that of modern Anglicanism,  that one simply ends up treating those (for us - as a Communion)  elusive concepts, truth and error, as opposite extremes, both of which are equally divisive and unacceptable to an establishment concerned mainly with keeping the institution afloat with the minimum of disruption. 
Our essential problem, of course, is that we have now no commonly accepted doctrinal or 'magisterial' standard or  reference point by which even to identify truth from error - we are back to the question of authority again; it's always authority...

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