…Connie Wookcock of the Toronto Sun, who Just Doesn’t Get It.  You can read the whole article here, if you want to.

Let’s start here, shall we:

The Anglican church of Canada’s many problems have been much in the headlines lately as a small number of congregations have voted to leave ostensibly over the issue of same sex marriage, but really because the evangelicals within the church don’t want to deal with more liberal views of Christianity itself.

I wonder what Ms. Woodcock thinks we have been dealing with for the last 20 years?  She obviously wasn’t at the last two General Synods, where Anglican Essentials Canada had a major presence.  I wonder what she would consider “dealing with” to be?  Saying “Peace, Peace” probably.

If you don’t know anything about Christianity, here are the two most important items. (1) Love God. (2) Love your neighbour as you love God. That’s all there is.

But some Anglicans are having trouble with (2), especially those neighbours who are (1) gay, (2) lesbian or (3) different from the fundamentalists. If Jesus Christ himself were to walk into one of these fundamentalist churches on Sunday morning, he’d likely be found wanting. Too liberal.

Have you ever actually attended a conservative Anglican church, Ms. Woodcock? What exactly is your  definition of love?  I would guess that love=being nice in her books.  Trouble is, sometimes love has to say the hard thing.  Sometimes love has to stand up and say “No, this is wrong, and it is taking you further away from Jesus”.  Sometimes love has to speak truth to power.

Anglicanism has always been a big tent that has made room for a broad range of belief. Those on the far right, who call themselves orthodox Anglicans, a small group despite the noise they make, believe the Bible literally, right down to Adam and Eve.

Only a small group in North America, not world wide.  We haven’t actually been making a very big public noise, it’s just that the actions that some bishops have taken against us have garnered a lot of press.  I do believe  that the Bible is God’s word written, but the way Ms. Woodcock has described it, you would think that I had to leave my brain at the church door in order to believe, which is incredibly insulting.  I would suggest that she take any J.I. Packer or C. S. Lewis book on Christianity out of the library, that would disabuse her of that notion p.d.q.

 And then there are the rest of us in the middle, wondering why we can’t just go back to the way we were — worshipping in peace and tolerance.

Translation:  As long as it doesn’t affect what goes on in my little corner of the Anglican world, I don’t care if heresy is being preached.

Tolerance, however, is a word, along with inclusivity, the right wingers apparently aren’t acquainted with, so there will be much more agony before these problems are sorted out, if they ever are.

Tolerance means to put up with.  Jesus didn’t tolerate anybody, he loved people, and that is what we are called to do. Love, mind you, not luv or be nice.

 The question of who owns the churches will be settled quickly. The Anglican church, like the Roman Catholic church, is hierarchical and church law is quite clear that property rights, along with power, reside with the diocese and its bishop.

That’s not what was argued when the Diocese of Caribou went under.  This paragraph alone proves that the author Doesn’t Get It.

Meanwhile, it would be nice if the fundamentalists took a little look at the bracelets they’re so fond of wearing — the ones made of beads bearing the letters WWJD which stand for “What would Jesus do?”

One suspects Jesus would weep.

I think he probably would, but not for the reasons Ms. Woodcock thinks.

Comments on: "And another Hairy Eyeball goes to…." (12)

  1. I understand your frustration, but there would be much greater reason for concern if the main-stream media agreed with the position of “fundamentalists” and the Network. Ms Woodcock, as someone who does not take God’s Word literally (by which, I assume, she means those parts that speak seriously of sin), is reacting as the Scripture says the world will react when confronted by truth.

  2. Why would you be concerned by that?

  3. To unregenerate hearts, whom the Holy Spirit is not wooing, disciples of Christ will appear unwise (1 Cor 1:26-29). If we seem wise in the eyes of the world, perhaps we are not being obedient to Christ.

  4. I thought more about your question (#2), and can see where my initial comment (#1) belies presuppositions based on the denomination I was brought up in. I was raised in a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada church – a church where speaking in tongues, prophecy, being slain in the Spirit, street evangelism, and legalism (no smoking, drinking, dancing, movies, etc.) were considered the norm. Even as children, we were taught that we should be in the world but not of the world, and that we should expect nonbelievers to view us as strange. We were also taught that we should not be surprised if we faced hostility or rejection because of our faith. I suppose it is because of this that I see the negative reaction to The Network as something to be expected and in accordance with God’s Word. Based on my understanding of Scripture, to not face resistance from the world would suggest the possibility of a less than faithful witness. Hopefully this helps.

  5. I just glanced at Rev George Sinclair’s comment in the March 9th bulletin for St Alban’s and, of course, he says things much better than I.

    Sorry for hogging this thread.

  6. Henry Troup said:

    I’ve been surprised by the profile of the whole crisis – I didn’t think anything could put Christianity back on the front page. I wish it were for better causes, though.

    Generally, the Anglican Church(es) in Canada are something under 10% by census; 3% by Diocesan statistics; and therefore maybe 1% of the population is actually in an Anglican church on any given Sunday. The embarassing reality of the 21st century is that Christianity is about as relevant to our newspapers as chess, and gets far fewer column inches than the crossword puzzle. And that it’s not that much more important to the average person.

  7. Henry Troup said:

    Warren at #3 – “unregenerate hearts, whom the Holy Spirit is not wooing” No such thing. The Spirit is wooing everyone; not everyone is receptive. (No, I’m not a Calvinist.)

  8. Henry, I’m close to Calvinism (as are the 39 Articles), but I heard a lot of talk about the wooing of the Holy Spirit when I was growing up in the Pentecostal church. Did the Holy Spirit woo Pharaoh or Esau (whom God hated)?

    I don’t think that the number of people in church on a Sunday morning is a reliable indicator of the influence that God and the invisible Church are having on culture (as the early church well illustrated). I do agree that the Christianity appears to be having very little influence on our current culture, which should be cause for serious soul searching, and likely repentance, in many churches and denominations.

  9. I am going to HAVE to introduce you two to each other. I can envision fascinating conversations over a beer at the Mayflower. (Bill says he thinks you’d like each other a whole lot)

  10. I think I’d like that. I can only imagine what the Mayflower is, though. :-0

  11. You’ve never been to the Mayflower? It’s a great pub/restaurant on Elgin street. Best apple crisp in the city.

  12. As is the habit, the writer of the article only quotes a part of the total truth:

    Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. The second is similar, love your neighbour as yourself.

    and the missing part:

    On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

    It is common for ‘modern’ Christians to think Jesus came to erase all the old stuff and just tell us to love. What he did was to provide a different perspective that informed everything that had gone before…so the Law and the Prophets are not erased, but brought into their full meaning.

    But you know all that…

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