Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Poor Sydney Diocese

I received an invitation to an episcopal dialogue between Bishop David Walker of The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay and Bishop Glenn Davies, Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney to hear them discuss the topic “Is the Pope a means to, or an impediment to, Christian Unity?”

I do not think I would agree with either and as it is in the evening (Wednesday 3rd September at 7.30pm) a long way from home I am unlikely to attend.

However it is being held at St John's Gordon and this reminded me that a lady recently told me she worshipped there and it is inclusive (like St James, she said). So I decided to google it. This search was unsuccessful but 'Gordon' and 'Anglican' brought up links to Rev Gordon Cheng with whom I have had words over his sarcastic comments about Heath Ledger in the Sydney Morning Herald at the time of Heath's death.

The link I found was to a blog called 'Sydney Anglican Heretics'. Sounds interesting, I thought and surfed on over. Yes it is full of criticism of Jensen and Moore College claiming they abandon Christian orthodoxy BUT this is because they deny "creationism"!!!! These bloggers (there appears to be several) believe in taking Genesis literally.

I really do not think anyone's acceptance by God depends on their view of evolution and creation. My only problem is the harm such people do to the name of Christianity. So many reject such obvious unintelligent views and sadly throw out the whole notion of God at the same time.

I do not think the blogger at "Sydney Anglican Heretics" will welcome me and feel slightly sorry for the Jensenites being attacked from two sides. However only slightly sorry.


Boaz said...

Yes Brian I read this blog that you refer to a few months ago and it is really WAY OUT THERE! These guys are more evango-fundie than even they average Sydney types.

The overall impression I got was that they are like the Seventh Day Adventists in that they think there is one key point that the church has abandoned. Of course their issue is not about Saturday being the Sabbath day but they seem to think the true test of one's orthodxoy is whether they follow the creation story literally.


Fran said...


And sad.

The topic of the talk is interesting. I do think that what will come in terms of Christian unity will more likely have nothing to do with what any denomination or leader says or does. Why would it really? Jesus was so bottom up and not top down.

We as humans have really mucked that one up but good.

BTW, in regard to your comment at my place, I am currently unemployed Brian, that should explain a lot!

PS - I am afraid to go to the heretics blog.

Doorman-Priest said...

I love the idea that Jensen is getting it from both directions.

June Butler said...

Brian, I may be wicked, but I don't feel even slightly sorry for the Jensenites.

Brian R said...

Oh you wicked people :-)
I would not bother visiting Fran, as boaz said it is all on one topic and a bit pointless really.
The bishops' dialogue would also be a bit pointless to me as there are so many wonderful Christians in all main denominations and I do not think our acceptance by God depends on what we believe about Communion, the role of saints, Saturday/Sunday observance, the position of the Pope etc etc. We humans are a funny lot arguing over unimportant details.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in, being thankful for you and your blog, and bookmarking it.


Brian R said...

Thanks Scott
Have been over to yours, your work is impressive.

Alcibiades said...

The Sydney Anglican Heretics are a classic example of what happens when a group defines itself negatively ("We are not like the liberals/catholics/gays/calathumpians") - in order to maintain a unique identity they must continually keep attacking and splitting form others in order to justify their existence. The same thing is evident in the way diocese's Matthian extremists have not only cut themselves off from the broader communion, but are now fighting bitterly with fellow evangelicals whom they once supported, such as Bishop Tom Wright.

At least in their dogmatic creationism the SAH nutters are consistent: the Sydney Diocese/Moore College position becomes very wobbly when asked if the Tower of Babel myths, or Noah's Ark, actually occurred as described. They criticise those who see in the OT a mythic narrative at work, but aren't comfortable seeing these as literal. The SAH quite rightly point out that you can't claim to be a literalist if you then see significant slabs of the story as mythic.

... and as a troublemaker, I can't but help point out that if you're prepared to use common sense and science to conclude some parts of Scripture are not literal history - such as creation and the evolution of human languages - it's hypocrisy to not apply the same God-given insights to those passages discussing gender and sexuality.

June Butler said...

Well said, Alcibiades. We have some of those, too, all the varieties you talk about.

Watcher said...

Thanks for the note about SAH; I see they've linked my blog, which is also on the subject of creation, but I think I have a lighter tone...I'd hope so anyway.

I know St John's Gordon, and was friendly with a previous rector; it is the mother church of my own parish, so interesting to see it mentioned.