Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The best of a bad choice

I think.

But who knows in Sydney Diocese?

It has been announced that Bishop Glenn Davies of North Sydney is to be the next Archbishop of Sydney.  He is 62, so will have to retire in 8 years whereas the other candidate was only 49 and the diocese could have been stuck with him for 21 years although he apparently said he would only stay for 15.
it seems Dean Philip Jensen was campaigning for the alternative and wrote some on the surface polite criticisms of Bishop Davies. That would be the obvious reason for me to prefer Davies. I have written elsewhere that I knew Philip at University and even in those days did not like him and actually told him once he was not a real Anglican.  I think he was pleased.  It would be great if he was soon sacked but, of course, that will not happen but he is only a year younger than me so will soon be 70.
I also read there is an emergent generation of bright young, evangelicals, now in their early 40s, who are still conservative but seem to think for themselves.  Philip must be losing his touch.

Both candidates oppose any teaching role for women in the church. they also agreed they would continue to license women to preach if a parish asked them to, but they would not encourage the practice. Women can only lead Bible studies if a man leads too. If the man was sick, Glenn added, then you would not necessarily need to cancel.

I just find this unbelievable. 

In my youth when I was still an evangelical and the idea of women being ordained was just surfacing.  I am pleased to remember that I was in favour.  I remember arguing with my then rector. He was an old school evangelical. He once reprimanded me that, although I spent most of Sunday at the church with sunday school teaching, Christian Endeavour, afternoon meetings, Youth fellowship and Evening Prayer, I rarely attended 8am Holy Communion so only took Communion once a month in the evening.  In other words, I had imbibed the Evangelical view that preaching was more important than the sacraments.

He was not theologically opposed to women teaching/preaching but believed that if women became priests, men would leave the running of the church to them.

I felt he would be turning in his grave last Sunday.  

In my church in Roslyn, Dunedin, the vicar is on leave.  
At our service last Sunday, our woman associate priest presided and preached. As Jo was ordained while I was in Rome,  it was the first time I have been present when she has presided at the Eucharist so was a time of joy for me.  Barbara, our deacon and a good friend, read the Gospel and carried out the other deacon's duties. Both lessons were read by laywomen  and the prayers of the faithful were led by Verna, the parish licensed lay minister.

A young boy was the crucifer and altar assistant and I think our male church warden assisted with the distribution so some males were involved. :-)

I can find nothing Christlike in those who deny women roles in the church. The current situation in England with flying bishops and no women bishops is ridiculous and, of course, I do not see why any young person, especially women, would be attracted to belong to churches in the Diocese of Sydney except the handful of Anglo-catholic parishes such as St James, King Street.


Unknown said...

If you knew the man, you'd probably know how to spell his name.

Brian R said...

I presume you mean Phillip Jensen. I dislike the man so much along with his brother that I could do much worse than mispell his name. Probably, like John Woodhouse with whom I was very close friends on Beach Mission in 1968, he does not want to be contaminated by "gay cooties" and admit he remembers me.

Sam Anderson said...

It is ludicrous to suggest that John Woodhouse or Phillip Jensen would not admit to remembering you, and even more so because of 'gay cooties'.

If you were to approach either of these men to say hello, and ask if they remember you, I would have no doubt that they would treat you graciously and with respect - even if they knew of your feelings towards them.

One of the greatest ironies about liberal Christians, who promote tolerance and love is their complete inability to be charitable and kind towards conservatives. Calamity Jane, for example, with her rampant misrepresentation of anything conservative and her hate-filled vitriol has the cheek to call anyone she disagrees with a bigot or a homophobe or worse still, a misogynist.

In comparison, I have only ever heard conservatives speak with grace, and at worst in measured and polite terms about those who vilify them.

Brian R said...

I know it is ludicrous.
In 1968, John Woodhouse and I were on the youth activities committee for the Scotts Head Beach Mission. We met regularly through the year, I drove him to the Mission a day or so before Christmas as part of the advance party. I preached at the Community interdenominational service on Christmas Day. Several yesrs later, John invited me as his guest at the opening of New College, Univerity of NSW where he was resident.
In 2006 I wrote to him at the time when I had decided to stop worshipping in evangelical churches and instead become a parishioner of St James, King Street. His reply was that it was so long ago he could not remember. I still have that letter.
When I came out to an evangelical priest (St Georges Earlwood 1981) I was immediately removed from the list of readers and later told he was glad I had begun to worship in the local Catholic church. That was after he preached a sermon comparing homosexuality to bestiality.
Ask Assoc. Professor Horsburgh, one time synod rep for St James. King Street about the way he was treated after supporting acceptance of homosexuals in Synod. His words to me "I have never seen such absolute hatred on the faces of men"
Finally I refer to the suicide of Rev John Turner, my parish priest at St Thomas, Kingsgrove about 1970. A wonderful man who had several nervous breakdowns as the Diocese sent him for treatment. I have never heard words of grace from Sydney evangelicals. The rector of St Albans, Leura told me all sinners were welcome. My homosexuality is God given and not a sin. It was my evangelical upbringing that brought me grief.
I gladly moved 3,000 km to live and worship in a Diocese where I am accepted and can point to openly partnered gay priests.

Calamity Jane said...

Sam... and there are so many stories...real ones!

Sam Anderson said...

Brian, I am sorry to hear your stories. I don't doubt that the way same-sex attracted people have been treated in the past has been appalling. I also hope that conservative evangelical's attitudes towards such people has radically improved, even if their views on the practise itself has not.

Here's the problem: people like Jane want to see total acceptance and celebration - anything less is viewed as hatred.

But there must be room in this conversation for people who genuinely love and care for same-sex attracted people, while honestly believing that homosexual practice is against God's commands.

Why are conservative evangelicals forced to choose between either following what their consciences tell them the Word of God says on the matter (and being called a homophobe) or going against their conscience?

Brian R said...

Thank you Sam
I have decided to make a post in reply

Brian R said...

My main criticism in this post has been of the Sydney diocese and Bishop Davies' view on women. Somehow it has moved to homosexuality. I do not know Bishop Davies' views on that matter but can guess. However I really have no patience with people who use the "Word of God' to give women a secondary role in church. I believe they are just trying to support their own ridiculous patriarchal views. Women have shown they can be excellent leaders in all areas of society. The biblical statements on women are purely cultural and in no way the word of God. Anyway we see women were leaders in the early church and Jesus appeared first to Mary and sent her to tell the other disciples.