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March 22, 2013


Peter Jensen on Justin Welby (video)

from SBS

Nicely put,

We will test him, as we do everyone in that position, in accordance with what we understand the Bible teaches

The whole extended interview is available to watch here.


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69 comments

What a lovely man.  So firm, so resolute and yet so kind and welcoming.  Remarkable.

[1] Posted by Clive on 3-22-2013 at 02:57 PM · [top]

Not remarkable Clive. Simply what a normal Christian leader should be like.

[2] Posted by Gregory on 3-22-2013 at 07:37 PM · [top]

ABC Welby’s evangelicism, sermons, statements and wavering views on gay marriage don’t matter, the CoE is already planning to conduct gay marriages in Westminster Chapel.  LINK

The CoE already accepts ‘partnered’ ‘gay’ clergy, ‘partnered-but-chaste’ (wink) bishops, etc.

Unless the CoE repents and recants, the die is already cast. 

The hell-bent 1.5% of persons with same-sex attraction have continued their constant Alinsky-style war on the church and society, demanding all the world must change their beliefs, laws and practices, despite the evidence in science research, statistics, medicine and Scripture that this emotional phenomenon is a symptom and a signal of a need for spiritual and psychological help, that it is not a sign of a separate ‘folk’, ‘gender’ or ‘orientation’ (as the activists’ propaganda insists, and that acting upon these inclinations is dangerous, indeed deadly.  LINK 

This issue is not a matter of rights and justice, it is a matter of emotional, physical and spiritual health, of life and death - eternal life and death. 

True compassion demands the truth in love.

The best pastoral care is not to accept a label that identifies the person according to the natural proclivities, but as the New Man or Woman in Christ who as Christ’s are called to crucify the flesh with its sinful desires. - Galatians 5:24   All are included, none excluded in this.  God gives no exemptions on the basis of our desires.

The best pastoral advice to someone with same-sex attraction is along these lines, from a comment by Episcopalienated at SF in 2008:
“When, after six weeks of anonymously attending services, I first went to the rector and told him of my life of gay activism and my conversion to Christ, I did so almost trembling with anxiety. After all, I knew what many Christians think of gays and lesbians. I half-expected Nicholas to throw me–politely, since he was an Anglican–out on my ear. But he didn’t. After courteously listening to everything I had to say, he turned to me and said: “David, if you need me to affirm what you do in bed, I cannot, because I think that is sin. But if you need me to affirm you as a brother in Christ, I can do that, because anyone who welcomes Christ is welcome here.” And he, along with his wife and family, and many other families at Trinity, meant it. Their love for me, a seemingly rock-solid gay activist, even as they disputed the immorality in my life, gave me a lasting lesson in Christianity’s depth and reality.”

Welby and all others in ministry would do well to follow that pattern.  We do no good when we trespass the boundaries God has set in Scripture.  God’s laws are unbreakable and eternal and cannot be changed or broken; we only break ourselves and others when we attempt to do so.

[3] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-23-2013 at 08:09 AM · [top]

Sorry SF team, I’m confused.

Over on my blog and on Facebook you’re laying into me for stating that we should judge Welby on the basis of what he says and does in the post of ABC. Here Jensen says that he will judge Welby on the basis of what he says and does in the post of ABC and you applaud.

Consistency?

[4] Posted by Peter O on 3-23-2013 at 08:38 AM · [top]

#3 St Nikao
<blockquote>ABC Welby’s evangelicism, sermons, statements and wavering views on gay marriage don’t matter, the CoE is already planning to conduct gay marriages in Westminster Chapel.</a>

No, the Church of England is not planning to conduct gay marriages in Westminster Chapel.

Mr Bryant, a member of Parliament, notorious for a photograph placed on the front page of ‘The Sun’ newspaper clad only in a white undergarment known as a ‘Y-Front’ which he had placed on a gay dating website in the apparent hope that it would encourage men to wish to have sex with him, is proposing that the Westminster Chapel which dates back to well before the Reformation becomes an interfaith space [and therefore presumably will be deconsecrated] in order that the Parliamentary authorities can plan to conduct gay weddings there.

[5] Posted by Pageantmaster ن [Repent Justin Welby] on 3-23-2013 at 08:46 AM · [top]

No need for confusion Peter. You are over there shamefully revising history to clean up the record of an Archbishop and his ally who together promote the ministry of a heretic in the name of reconciliation and peacemaking…and we are calling you on it.

[6] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 08:57 AM · [top]

Peter, I think if ++Welby had been silent in speech and deed inbetween the announcement that he was to be ABC and his enthronement then you would certainly be justified.

But the fact is he didn’t. From almost the beginning of this run-in to his Archepiscopacy he has pushed the “reconciliation” motif, all of which has come with the imprimatur of “Archbishop-elect”. He has, as anyone taking up the position would do, begun to place his flag very firmly in the ground so that we might all understand him.

And a particular part of that action as Archbishop-elect has been to promote and affirm the “reconciliation” between Baucum and Johnston and to invite Schori to a meeting of Primates. Rather than us having nothing to “judge” him upon we actually have a growing body of statements and activity since the announcement of his Archepiscopacy - all of which he has said and done fully aware that the world is looking at him with a view to how he will carry out his role.

[7] Posted by David Ould on 3-23-2013 at 09:10 AM · [top]

The SF treatment of the word “reconciliation” puts me in mind of The Princess Bride:  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times ++Welby defines what he means (not papering over, forthright disagreement, etc. etc. etc.) you import your meaning:  surrender.  I take ++Welby to mean that vociferous disagreement is welcome as long as it is intellectually honest.  In fact, based on what I know of the man he actually wants that type of disagreement because he knows how tough the job of reforming the wayward parts of the church.  He needs your help but it appears that will not be forthcoming.

[8] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 09:27 AM · [top]

Hi Clive, how disingenuous your comment is above. We’ve seen Precisely what Welby means by “Reconciliation” and “peacemaking” and “getting along with mission” etc…it means embracing wolves as brothers and doing common mission together Let me quote it for you:

” we find that in parts of the communion, or all over the communion in aspects of our lives, there is a sense of focus, even of reconciliation, and it comes not from endless debate and discussion of what achieves this, but principally from mission and its collateral benefits.

By mission I mean two things.  First, it is the conscious engagement of churches at local, diocesan, provincial, national and global levels with the challenges and issues that diminish flourishing in the human race. Whether global or local, mission means building bridges from the world of the Kingdom of God into the world of human life and sin and celebration and weakness and strength.

Secondly, mission means taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ across that bridge, so that not only are we seen to be nice people doing nice things (there is a certain amount of British irony about that)  but, with the good wishes, good intentions and helpful hands, there is the love of Christ that constrains us, that drives us forward, and that, when allowed to reign and rule in our individual lives and in the lives of societies and communities, transforms structures and practices and permits human flourishing.

Mission is a wonderful thing for many reasons.  First, it is commanded by God, and thus to do it is to obey God.  Second, it causes us to look outwards, away from those things that divide us, and to find ourselves shoulder to shoulder with others with whom we may disagree profoundly but with whom we share one unutterably precious thing — that we both love Jesus Christ and for His sake we are doing what we are doing.

Across the Anglican Communion, we are profoundly divided on many things, and yet at the same time there are links through diocesan and provincial partnerships. The more we are engaged in these works of mission, carrying in word and action the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that is more and more in need of Him, the more we find ourselves regarding those with whom we disagree as fellow Christians, who may be wrong but with whom we are called to live, whose love we receive and to whom we owe such love.

“The miracle of the church,” said the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton in the 1980s, the Rev. Sandy Millar, “is not that like-minded people agree but extremely unlike-minded people love each other while managing somehow to live in common service to Christ.”

The Diocese of Virginia has recently, through the common prayer of Bishop Shannon Johnston and the Rev. Tory Baucum, rector of Truro Anglican Church, set an example of coming together before Christ in order to overcome the division that has arrived in the past few years.

To move away from such flowery language, the message is simple: If you want to get together, get on with mission, together.”

http://centeraisle.net/2012/07/09/from-todays-issue-the-answer-to-division-in-the-anglican-communion-is-mission/

More recently he echoed the same language in his speech following the Reconciliation conference which featured Bishop Johnston. It would be comical were it not so shameful to see your attempts at revising history and covering up a clear record of appeasement and collaboration.

The problem is not - as we have pointed out countless times - that Welby himself might compromise his own personal orthodox beliefs. The problem is acknowledging and legitimizing and promoting the ministry and Christian standing of heretics who are actively leading people to hell so that people with collars can prattle on about unity in diversity. The flock of God is being corrupted and souls destroyed by men like Johnston and the heresies they propound and Welby et al want to make peace with them. This is nothing short of a betrayal of Christ and his bride. There can be no common mission, no common Minisitry, no common Gospel with those who promote damning doctrines.

[9] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 09:43 AM · [top]

Clive,

We all know that ++Welby and others have stressed time and time again that they’re not papering over etc. - that was never in doubt.

The crisis is brought about by the facts on the ground.

Baucum affirmed (and was affirmed in turn by Welby in doing so) Johnston as a legitimate orthodox bishop of the Anglican Communion. Johnston who holds the same position on sexual ethics that has ripped the Communion apart. Johnston who, surprise surprise, invited Crosson in to “converse” with his clergy.

Bottom line. Johnston is a heretic. Baucum treated him as not just orthodox but as an orthodox bishop to be respected and promoted.

Of course, if Johnston is not a heretic then Truro church ought to return to TEC as soon as they possibly can. But we’ve already laid all of that out.

[10] Posted by David Ould on 3-23-2013 at 09:50 AM · [top]

Wow.  Thanks for posting.  That is a really good statement. 

In addition to the good done in the world, say, rebuilding a destroyed church in Sudan, it might actually have the effect of exposing people to an incarnated gospel (as opposed to a purely theoretical and abstract one).  Can’t have that, much too frightening what with all the wolves around.

We can’t persuade unless we engage which would require actually talking to people that we disagree with including Episcopal bishops. 

Since you raise Johnston (again), I will note (again) there was no endorsement of his teaching by Fr. Baucum.  Quite the opposite where there was error, Fr. Baucum critiqued him in public and in private.

[11] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 09:58 AM · [top]

Clive, you are writing as if it all began a few weeks ago. Study the long history of this situation before jumping to such simple conclusions.

[12] Posted by Gregory on 3-23-2013 at 10:07 AM · [top]

David - I hate to nitpick you on terminology (not really) but Fr. Baucum never used the term “orthodox bishop”.  He described Johnston as a “brother in Christ” based on his affirmation of the Nicene Creed.  A brother in error on sexuality but a brother nonetheless.

[13] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:07 AM · [top]

Clive - then call the process “engagement” or “detente” or “gracious separation” or maybe even “peacemaking”- something other than reconciliation.  If none of the parties involved are talking about the surrender of mutually exclusive positions, nothing is “reconciled.”

[14] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-23-2013 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Hi Clive:

“Wow.  Thanks for posting.  That is a really good statement.”

No it isn’t. It is a statement that encourages presenting a soul destroying wolf and heretic as a Christian brother who partakes in the same gospel to the detriment of the flock of God.

“In addition to the good done in the world, say, rebuilding a destroyed church in Sudan, it might actually have the effect of exposing people to an incarnated gospel (as opposed to a purely theoretical and abstract one).  Can’t have that, much too frightening what with all the wolves around.”

It will rather expose people to the gospel of Shannon Johnston which is a false soul destroying gospel. Churches will be build and the Lord’s little ones will be led to sin and darkness.

“We can’t persuade unless we engage which would require actually talking to people that we disagree with including Episcopal bishops. “

Hahaha…right “talking”...first off the NT does not call us to talk to heretics but to silence them…not promote their ministry or provide avenues for them to be seen as legitimate Christian ministers but to delegitimize and undermine them at every turn (2 Cor 11). Secondly, what Welby promotes is not mere “talking” but engaging in common mission and sharing the “gospel” with someone who presents another gospel which is really no gospel at all.

“Since you raise Johnston (again), I will note (again) there was no endorsement of his teaching by Fr. Baucum.  Quite the opposite where there was error, Fr. Baucum critiqued him in public and in private.”

Ah yes.  Let’s try that on for size shall we: “I disagree with Arius on the matter of Jesus’ divinity but I embrace him as a Christian brother and promote his ministry and cooperate with him in common “gospel” mission.”

How does that sound? If I were to do such a thing I would be legitimizing a wolf - one being used by Satan to devour the sheep. It’s stunning that you have no problem with this

[15] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Clive I fear you just don’t get it.

2John 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
...
Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
...
etc.etc.

[16] Posted by David Ould on 3-23-2013 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Hi Clive,


He clearly referred to Bishop Johnston as creedally orthodox. http://www.truroanglican.com/uploads/FAQ_Final.pdf?utm_source=StandFirm&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=link

“Bp Johnston confesses faith in the risen Christ, as outlined in the Nicene Creed
...
This is orthodox Christian teaching on Jesus. This is a reliable criterion concerning whether or not someone is a Christian (Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9).”

[17] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:11 AM · [top]

Gregroy - you will have to trust me on this.  I am a student of the situation.  I interpret the facts differently and, perhaps, have a bit more context than most.

[18] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:11 AM · [top]

Hi Gregory, unfortunately, Clive has been exposed to the truth. But his purpose is to obscure it, twist it, and shamefully deny it in order to justify the unjustifiable

[19] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:19 AM · [top]

Matt - it has never been in dispute that Fr. Baucum called Johnston a brother in Christ or gave as his explanation Johnston’s belief in the Creed.

[20] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:26 AM · [top]

“You are over there shamefully revising history to clean up the record of an Archbishop”

Right Matt, that really helps.

By the way, 15 comments later no-one has actually responded to my original comment. Funny that. I repeat - I want to let Justin define himself by what he does in the office of ABC and not pre-judge. I get called out on this. Peter Jensen explictly doesn’t condemn Justin out of the starting blocks and rather says we should hold him accountable for what he does as ABC and he is your hero.

Can you not see why I might be a tad aggrieved?

[21] Posted by Peter O on 3-23-2013 at 10:26 AM · [top]

Hi Clive

“Matt - it has never been in dispute that Fr. Baucum called Johnston a brother in Christ or gave as his explanation Johnston’s belief in the Creed…”

Exactly. And more. He promoted his ministry and acknowledged his authority. This is true. And this was the legitimization of a heretic.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30250

[22] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:28 AM · [top]

David - when Johnston permitted John Dominic Crossan to speak to clergy and laity and deny the deity of Christ, Baucum withdrew from public peacemaking.  This was the line Baucum drew at the beginning of the relationship and he was faithful to it.

[23] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:29 AM · [top]

By the way, 15 comments later no-one has actually responded to my original comment.

Right here.

[24] Posted by David Ould on 3-23-2013 at 10:30 AM · [top]

Hi Peter

“right Matt, that really helps.”

Indeed. It helps reveal the covering up and obscuring of inconvenient history and spinning revision of actual words and deeds.

“By the way, 15 comments later no-one has actually responded to my original comment. Funny that. I repeat - I want to let Justin define himself by what he does in the office of ABC and not pre-judge.”

And to do that you pretend that he has not already written a word about the topic at hand.

“I get called out on this. Peter Jensen explictly doesn’t condemn Justin out of the starting blocks and rather says we should hold him accountable for what he does as ABC and he is your hero”

I certainly admire ++Jenson…I would not call him my hero. No one is condemning Welby out of the blocks, we are pointing to what he has written both before and after his installation and encouraging people not to be blinded by his spinning mythmakers but merely to read what he has himself written. So when Welby speaks about Reconciliation he does not do so in a vacuum. He has written about it before and it is vital to know what he means by that word. What he means, according to his own words, is common mission and cooperation with wolves.

[25] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:33 AM · [top]

Johnston did not become a wolf when he hosted Crossan. He was already a heretic. The argument all along has been that +Johnston is creedally orthodox and Christologically faithful despite promoting same sex blessings. That is a farcical argument built on the supposition that one can deny and reject the words of Christ written through his apostles and still possess true faith in Christ.

Within some religions such an argument might be made, There is a disconnect, for example, within Islam between Allah and his commands. Muslim law is somewhat arbitrary in character and does not necessary reflect Allah’s character and nature. But within the Judeo/Christian theological framework, the words of God, the law of God, is an expression of his unchangeable character. He commands, for example, that husbands remain faithful to their wives because Faithfulness is an essential, unchanging aspect of his character and marriage itself is an expression of the love of God in Christ for his people, his Bride.

Christians believe that when human creatures are conformed to the law of God they are also conformed to God himself.

This idea that God’s law is a reflection of God’s character carries important ramifications for the scope of orthodoxy. To return to the example above, if someone were to teach that adultery can be good rather than evil, he would not only present a doctrine that does violence to the scriptures, he would also do violence to the revealed character of God and the purposes of Christ. His heresy would not be merely “anthropological” but theological and Christological.

Perhaps now you can see how hollow the arguments presented in defense of Shannon Johnston’s creedal orthodoxy and Christological faithfulness turn out to be. To promote the notion that two people of the same sex can be married and/or engage in sexual acts within the context of a union God has blessed is not simply to reject God’s revealed purposes for human sexuality, it is also to construct a false image of god, a distorted portrait of Christ. Such a teaching not only strikes at the heart of orthodox practice, it presents another Jesus, a false Christ.

[26] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:36 AM · [top]

We could, and probably will, go round on this all day or until better sense prevails. There was no promotion of Johnston’s ministry; there was an effort to show him something about Alpha which he might benefit from.

[27] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:39 AM · [top]

Pageantmaster #5,  Thanks for explaining about the plans to (perhaps deconsecrate) Westminster chapel in order to conduct pagan ceremonies and gay unions there and for explaining the reliability of the sources. 

The fact remains that the CoE with Welby as head, has ‘partnered gay’ clergy and bishops with spousal benefits - and - is also involved in the Anglican Communion Continuing Indaba Project (passed at the ACC Jamaica conference) that is a US LBGT sponsored propaganda project designed to ram pansexuality down the throats of third world countries, going around the authority of Global South orthodox bishops to the detriment of the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all concerned.

The pansexual activists are unceasingly determined to whine, lie and bully the world into accepting their abnormal and unhealthy lifestyles by any means and at all costs despite the preponderance of evidence to contradict of their claims.

[28] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-23-2013 at 10:39 AM · [top]

Matt - you are equating false teaching about sex with false teaching about Christ. Both are bad but only one is fatal.  When the fatal error was committed Fr. Baucum acted to end the peacemaking effort.

[29] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 10:44 AM · [top]

Clive says,

There was no promotion of Johnston’s ministry

Baucum said,

I have opened up relationships and ministry opportunities to him in the CofE

At this point, Clive, I think you’re just trolling. I made exactly this same argument to you less than 4 hours ago on another thread and you read it and responded to it.

We’ve covered this ground in detail.

Baucum affirmed Johnston as creedally orthodox
Baucum promoted the ministry of Johnston abroad
Baucum decided that the issue over which Truro (rightly) left TEC was no longer an issue that required principled division and affirmed the legitimate status of Johnston as an Anglican bishop.

I don’t think any of us have the patience to demonstrate these utterly plain facts to you again given how long they have been at the forefront of our collective consciousness for so long. Yet you arrive late in the game and declare that we who have been fastidiously documenting this whole sorry saga since early in 2012 are clueless as to what is really going on. On the contrary, we’ve covered it in great detail from every angle we possibly can and, if I might allow us a brief moment of perhaps vanity, we’ve actually done our job well in bringing this to the attention of the ACNA at all levels.

[30] Posted by David Ould on 3-23-2013 at 10:48 AM · [top]

I repeat - Peter Jensen and I are making the same basic point. Why is one of us getting reviled and the other lauded?

[31] Posted by Peter O on 3-23-2013 at 10:48 AM · [top]

Hi Clive,

heh…Welby is Quite clear about the kind of ministry he thinks appropriate with heretics like Johnston

And the rector of Truro was too…introducing Johnston to civic and ecclesial leaders and opening doors for ministry for him in England. It went beyond Alpha -which would be bad enough - to a leadership conference at HTB.  http://standfirminfaith.com/media/Blessedarehungerandthirst.pdf

“over the past year of meetings, we have identified some of the harm that has
been done and we have begun, even before the litigation concluded, to take steps to
make things right. I have treated Bishop Shannon as a bishop of the Anglican
Communion and with the respect that is due a fellow Christian. I have opened up relationships and ministry opportunities to him in the CofE. He has reciprocated by
allowing me to minister in Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Virginia as DOK Chaplain
and has encouraged my relationship with VTS and Dean Ian Markham, who has invited
me to teach a missions course there. The old habit of trying to “displace” each other
has been rejected as unworthy of disciples. On the contrary, we are trying to help each
other and bless each other where we can legitimately do so.”

And to common “Christian” mission:
http://www.truroanglican.com/uploads/FAQ_Final.pdf?utm_source=StandFirm&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=link

“Bishop Johnston and Tory have discussed that there may be areas of
ministry to which both could contribute without violating their own or the
recipient’s integrity. An example is raising funds to allow young Muslim men from
Darfur to rebuild a Catholic church in South Sudan that was burned down by North
Sudanese soldiers.”

Me and my friend Arius here are going to cooperate with one another as brothers in Christ…here’s some money for your efforts at rebuilding this church. What would such a cooperative effort in the name of Christ convey? That you share the same gospel and the same Christ - that divisions over sexuality are not essential to the gospel and to Christian identity. Hence, the NT warnings to which David made reference above.

[32] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:57 AM · [top]

Hi Clive:

“Matt - you are equating false teaching about sex with false teaching about Christ. Both are bad but only one is fatal.  When the fatal error was committed Fr. Baucum acted to end the peacemaking effort.”

I am equating them because both are deadly and both present a false Christ who cannot save.

[33] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 10:58 AM · [top]

Hi Clive:

“Both are bad but only one is fatal…”

So says “Clive”

I think I’ll stick with the Apostle Paul on this:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”(1 cor 6:9-10)

[34] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 11:01 AM · [top]

As everyone here has noted, there’s no difference between us on sexual ethics.  Homosexual acts, fornication, adultery are all deadly to the practitioner.  The question I thought was before us was whether an error in teaching on sexual ethics was equivalent to saying a false thing about the person of Jesus Christ.  Of course, there’s always a danger, and I think a very high one, that false beliefs on sex tend to infect Christology or are even, as in the case of TEC, usually part of the package.  With Johnston, we are talking about one individual bishop who spent hours in dialogue with Fr. Baucum explaining his thoughts.  His thoughts on sexuality were in error but it appears Fr. Baucum thought there might be hope of persuading him.  When it became apparant that was not possible, he acted to stop the peacemaking effort.

[35] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 11:43 AM · [top]

Hi Clive,

“As everyone here has noted, there’s no difference between us on sexual ethics.”

There is quite a huge difference. You think that this dispute is over a “secondary doctrinal matter” as you noted over on Peter’s site. When in fact this is a soul destroying heresy.

“Homosexual acts, fornication, adultery are all deadly to the practitioner.”

Precisely. Therefore the one who promotes such acts is promoting a spiritually deadly sin. He is also promoting a different Jesus - one who approves such acts - and a different gospel - a gospel in which repentance from such acts is unnecessary.

“The question I thought was before us was whether an error in teaching on sexual ethics was equivalent to saying a false thing about the person of Jesus Christ.”

And it is.

“Of course, there’s always a danger, and I think a very high one, that false beliefs on sex tend to infect Christology or are even, as in the case of TEC, usually part of the package.”

No…the law of God is a reflection of God’s own identity and character. His words are not arbitrary rules. So to reject or contradict what God says about sex and marriage is not just to teach a different practice or rule it is to distort the character and Person of Christ.

“With Johnston, we are talking about one individual bishop who spent hours in dialogue with Fr. Baucum explaining his thoughts.  His thoughts on sexuality were in error but it appears Fr. Baucum thought there might be hope of persuading him.”

Personal private conversation with heretics, friendship, to persuade them to repent are no problem. If that were the extent of it there would be no problem. But we all know that it was not the extent of it. That’s not what was going on. 

“When it became apparant that was not possible, he acted to stop the peacemaking effort.”

That is also a revised reconstruction of history

[36] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 11:51 AM · [top]

Two items:  in the “chain of command” between Fr. Baucum, +Guernsey, and ++Duncan we have several accomplished bible scholars, pastors and preachers.  You are portraying your interpretation of the Scriptures as dispositive and inarguable.  If they were, I seriously doubt Fr. Baucum would have been drawn into the magnitude of error your suggesting and if he had his bishop and archbishop would have intervened at a far earlier stage in the process.  What I infer from this is that there is more than one way to read those scriptures and that for many, if not all of them, there’s a distinction drawn between errors relating to Christology and those that pertain to other matters, even very significant ones.

So, Matt, are you saying that your interpretation of these scriptures are dispositive and inarguable and, therefore, that +Guernsey and ++Duncan were either also in error or negligent in their own pastoral responsibilities? 

Second, you will have to detail for me what you mean by “reconstruction of history” so that I know what you mean and can respond.

[37] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 12:26 PM · [top]

Goodness, what a complicated example of not listening!  Let’s just ask Clive exactly what he thinks “reconciliation” means since he does not think it means what we think it means.

How about it, Clive?  Since you do not like our definition of reconciliation, how about providing us with what you think the word means, both as ++Welby uses it and as you think it should be used.  In detail, please.  What would it look like for both parties to accept and attempt to try ++Welby’s definition, which apparently you share?

[38] Posted by Ann Castro on 3-23-2013 at 12:35 PM · [top]

Hi Clive

“Two items: in the “chain of command” between Fr. Baucum, +Guernsey, and
++Duncan we have several accomplished bible scholars, pastors and preachers.”

True and irrelevant.

You are portraying your interpretation of the Scriptures as dispositive and
inarguable.”

Um, no, the scriptures speak for themselves.

“If they were, I seriously doubt Fr. Baucum would have been drawn
into the magnitude of error your suggesting and if he had his bishop and
archbishop would have intervened at a far earlier stage in the process.”

I think that is an irrelevant point grounded in suppositions about what may or may not have been done behind closed doors. Since we do not have any indication what these episcopal leaders were doing or thinking, we ought not to speculate.

“What I infer from this is that there is more than one way to read those
scriptures and that for many, if not all of them, there’s a distinction
drawn between errors relating to Christology and those that pertain to other
matters, even very significant ones.”

There is no such distinction.

“So, Matt, are you saying that your interpretation of these scriptures are
dispositive and inarguable and, therefore, that +Guernsey and ++Duncan were
either also in error or negligent in their own pastoral responsibilities?”

What an odd question? Interesting that you would want to draw me into a position critical toward leaders I respect who have not spoken on this question. Interesting indeed. I wonder what your game is here? It seems to have taken a malicious turn.

I believe that I have presented the scriptures on this matter correctly. I do not make any judgment about Bishops Guernsey or Archbishop Duncan.

“Second, you will have to detail for me what you mean by “reconstruction of
history” so that I know what you mean and can respond.”

I already have, numerous times above…and many others have too. It was not a mere private friendship working toward repentance as you portrayed it above.

[39] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 12:37 PM · [top]

Matt -

In a hierarchical church structure questions of leadership are always relevant.

Scriptures require exegesis.  If you want an infallible and indisputable one that’s not available in the Protestant church.

As I said over at Peter Ould’s page, those who engage in conspiracies are frequently conspiracy minded.  I have no “malicious” agenda.  (BTW, is that tone policing I hear?) I really want to know what you think.  How far do you think the culpability for this supposed error extends?

I agree with you that +Guernsey and ++Duncan are excellent men and we are blessed to have them as our leaders.  But you can’t have it both ways.  If, over the past two years, these excellent, godly men did not detect the grave error you did, if they permitted the discussions between Fr. Baucum and Shannon Johnston to proceed, then perhaps the case is not as clear as you have been making out.

Of course, you are correct in one important regard:  we don’t know about what goes on behind closed doors when bishops express concerns over the excesses of their clergy.  Bishops are frightfully clever and discreet when they have to rein in their rectors.  I’m sure you agree with that.

[40] Posted by Clive on 3-23-2013 at 02:19 PM · [top]

Scriptures require exegesis.  If you want an infallible and indisputable one that’s not available in the Protestant church.

Indeed.  It is one of the reasons 2000+ years of church teaching is invaluable.

[41] Posted by Jackie on 3-23-2013 at 02:27 PM · [top]

Hi Clive

“In a hierarchical church structure questions of leadership are always relevant.”

Yes and no. On this particular question since said leaders have not given us any information about what they believe your point was/is irrelevant to our discussion. It is mere speculation

Secondly, the given interpretation of any leader is subject to testing by the word itself. We do not have infallible bishops or Archbishops. We are all equally under biblical authority and the word itself is the final arbiter.

“Scriptures require exegesis.  If you want an infallible and indisputable one that’s not available in the Protestant church.”

Right…and yet that does not in any way take away from my point that the scriptures speak for themselves.

“As I said over at Peter Ould’s page, those who engage in conspiracies are frequently conspiracy minded.  I have no “malicious” agenda.  (BTW, is that tone policing I hear?) I really want to know what you think.  How far do you think the culpability for this supposed error extends?”

I posited no theory. I noted the fact that you did not engage in the actual question at hand but instead sought to set me at odds with the various authorities. No theory at all.

“I agree with you that +Guernsey and ++Duncan are excellent men and we are blessed to have them as our leaders.  But you can’t have it both ways.  If, over the past two years, these excellent, godly men did not detect the grave error you did, if they permitted the discussions between Fr. Baucum and Shannon Johnston to proceed, then perhaps the case is not as clear as you have been making out.”

There you go again. Why speculate about what was happening and being said when you don’t know and neither do I. So why would I accuse someone of not doing or saying anything when we don’t know what may or may not have been done or said.

“Of course, you are correct in one important regard:  we don’t know about what goes on behind closed doors when bishops express concerns over the excesses of their clergy.  Bishops are frightfully clever and discreet when they have to rein in their rectors.  I’m sure you agree with that.”

Sure. Which takes me back to your attempts to maneuver me into a conflictual position above.

[42] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-23-2013 at 02:37 PM · [top]

Congratulations, Clive—you have managed to hijack this thread. I count thirty of forty-two comments either made by, or directed at, you—that’s nearly 75% of the time. Since we cannot conclude that you have learned anything from this exchange (you keep egging things on for more), this thread is now off limits to your further commenting, in order to give the conversation a chance to draw others into it, and not solely for the purpose of engaging Clive. Similar behavior on any other thread will cause you to be classified as a troll, and have your posting privileges taken away.

[43] Posted by A. S. Haley on 3-23-2013 at 03:13 PM · [top]

#31 Peter O

You don’t seem to me to be making the same point as Peter Jensen.

You are ready to state that Welby is ‘an evangelical and no mistake’ .  It follows from this that, as reconciliation is a prominent theme for the new ABC , you already believe his understanding of reconciliation to be evangelical,  that is biblically derived and consistent with the truth of the gospel.

However Peter Jensen is saying we need to understand what he means by ‘reconciliation’, that he will need to demonstrate that what he means by the word is according to the bible.  I think the very fact that he mentions this indicates that he has his doubts that that will be the case.

In any case Justin Welby will not have the luxury of being able to sit on his hands for a few months.  We will all know definitely one way or another pretty soon when he meets with the GAFCON primates.

[44] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-23-2013 at 03:51 PM · [top]

PBS has posted an interview with ABC Welby, in which he offers further guidance on his definition of “reconciliation.” http://video.pbs.org/video/2354324129/

[45] Posted by sophy0075 on 3-23-2013 at 09:24 PM · [top]

I saw this article too late to debate Clive.  But I tend to agree with A. S. Haley:  the sheer volume of Clive’s posts, and his tendency to shift ground as soon as he received a rebuttal on any particular point does raise a real concern that he was merely trolling. 

No doubt he will have the opportunity to prove me wrong by presenting some more reasonable arguments on other threads.

Back to ++Jensen.  He seems to have stated the situation with remarkable fairness.  If this interview was on SBS TV, then there would have been a lot of un-churched people watching. He has accordingly kept his comments simple in a way that should entice non-Christians to enquire further without being put off by too much ecclesiastical detail.

And despite his great politeness, the sting in his words is evident - the onus is on ++Welby to show where he stands, and what it is he stands for.

[46] Posted by MichaelA on 3-24-2013 at 05:22 AM · [top]

RE: “Peter Jensen and I are making the same basic point. Why is one of us getting reviled and the other lauded?”

Peter Ould is not getting reviled—Peter Ould is being disagreed with and that apparently equates to “reviling.”

The reason why I haven’t bothered to disagree with Peter Jensen is because I haven’t listened to what he has said.  Should I listen to what he said and find that he is making the same basic point as Peter Ould—which I highly doubt—I will make sure to register my disagreement with it, as I have with Peter Ould.

On to Clive.  I think his comment #11 best reveals where he is theologically and we can dispense with dealing with all the red herrings which are largely about his asserting something that is factually false, and then when we quote directly from source, he moves on to another false assertion.  Remember—these were the guys who 72 hours ago were busy promoting the meme that Baucum never thought of his work with Johnston as “reconciliation” and then when we came up with document after document of Baucum’s written statements saying precisely the opposite, have moved on to other false assertions.  There’s really only two options on those red herrings.  Either Clive and others promoting these memes have never read or kept up with the source documents, which we have for a year now, and are being fed these lines by others bent on papering over the past year of the Baucum/Johnston debacle, or they have and are attempting the revisionist history themselves.  I don’t think it matters either way which is which—either he’s a willing and ignorant stooge, or a spinmeister, but the effect is the same.  Clive has had more than enough source documents to know the facts and he must be left in his own ignorance, or acknowledged to be a prevaricator.

But I’m more interested in Clive’s theological underpinnings.  And his hearty approval of the Welby statements that Matt quoted on record, is revealing.

The key thing we note is that Welby believes that “mission” allows those who believe the Gospel within the Anglican Communion and within ACNA to find themselves “shoulder to shoulder” with false teachers and the revisionist bullies of TEC and the COE and others who do not believe the Gospel, because, Welby asserts “we share one unutterably precious thing — that we both love Jesus Christ and for His sake we are doing what we are doing.”

This really lets us see with cold clarity where Welby stands.  For obviously, the false teachers and revisionist bullies of TEC and the COE [and elsewhere] do *not* “love Jesus Christ” at all nor do they believe the Gospel.  What they have done to Scripture, tradition, reason, marriage, the sacraments, the Fall, sin, redemption, repentance, sanctification, salvation, and on and on it goes, necessarily means that they believe something antithetical to the Gospel—something vastly other than the Gospel.  Much to their chagrin, the paraded-out Example that Welby meant to make of Johnston and Baucum’s “shoulder to shoulder” standing ended in disaster when Johnston screwed up the whole meme and happily offered a venue and audience and promotion for an event with Crossan, thus revealing who we all knew that he was anyway and had been pointing out for a year.

*That* didn’t go so well.

So the second key assertion in Welby’s “reconciliation” paragraphs above are that those who believe the Gospel and who are standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the false teachers and revisionist bullies of TEC and the COE [and elsewhere] are “carrying in word and action the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that is more and more in need of Him.” Obviously we are doing no such thing “together” because the false teachers and revisionist bullies within TEC and the COE are *not* “carrying” the Gospel to a needy world, but are in fact carrying a false and harmful gospel—a poisonous fraud—to the needy world.

Once those who believe the Gospel stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the false teachers and revisionist bullies of TEC, the COE, and elsewhere, and carry disparate and antithetical gospels to the needy world, we will then, according to Welby, “find ourselves regarding those with whom we disagree as fellow Christians.” 

And further, we will not only see the false teachers and revisionist bullies as “fellow Christians” but we will understand that we must “live” with them.

In other words, Welby says the precise same thing that Frank Griswold, Katherine Jefferts Schori, and all the other revisionists said back in 2003, which is that all of this blessing and approval and affirmation of gay sex acts is just a minor thing and that that “that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us” and we must “get on with mission and ministry together”—standard revisionist boilerplate tripe which didn’t fly back in 2003 and will not fly in 2013. 

Obviously we utterly repudiate all of those above assertions by Welby.  They are contradictory to everything that we have believed and publicly stated on this blog for almost ten years.

Clive thinks the above by Welby is “a really good statement.” 

I think that basically says it all.  We know where Clive stands and he is in no way where we stand at all.  That’s fine, and I’m more than willing to have people who believe that sort of thing commenting on this blog—we need them [as long as they’re not trolling] so that we can publicly repudiate it, but I think we need that clarity about where Clive stands when Clive comments on all the other threads.

[47] Posted by Sarah on 3-24-2013 at 09:43 AM · [top]

“If, over the past two years, these excellent, godly men did not detect the grave error you did, if they permitted the discussions between Fr. Baucum and Shannon Johnston to proceed, then perhaps the case is not as clear as you have been making out.”

Well, the reality here appears to be that Bishop Guernsey came to, essentially, the same conclusion that Matt Kennedy+ came to, just at a later date.  I am speculating, to a degree, but I think it would be reasonable to think that Bishop Guernsey (and by extension, ++Duncan) were willing to take Johnston at his word until he proved otherwise, which he did, incontrovertibly, by ordaining a lesbian priest in a parish seized from its congregation, inviting Crossan to “train” his clergy, and maintaining the aggressive lawsuits throughout the past year.

That Baucum was able to introduce Johnston into Evangelical circles in the CoE (or the response of certain “conservative, orthodox” Evangelical bloggers in England to the final ACNA response to the Baucum-Johnston “reconciliation”) demonstrates the weakness of the position of conservatives in England, where they seem willing to define anything as a “second order issue” for the sake of unity in the CoE.  The word “gullible” comes to mind.

[48] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-24-2013 at 10:57 AM · [top]

I wasn’t quite sure where to put this but thought it relevant to the “false teacher” debate of the weekend.  It is also posted on Peter Ould’s page.  Feel free to move the materials to a different thread but it really is an interesting insight from an orthodox source.  It belongs in front of the SF readership.

I engaged Dr. Ben Witherington, one of the top New Testament scholars in the world and a solid evangelical, on the question of whether the New Testament texts would have definitively classified the pre-Crossan/pre-Spong +Shannon Johnston as a false teacher.  Here’s his reply:

“One of the problems with this whole sort of line of arguing is often we have no idea what this or that group of ‘false teachers’ was teaching.  And then there were perfectly good teachers who were in error on something important.  On the latter point, consider the case of Apollos in Acts 18.  He taught accurately about Jesus, but he was in error about baptism.  Baptism is an important theological issue, but notice that Priscilla and Aquila don’t treat Apollos as if he was a false teacher or a non-brother. Rather they simply taught him more accurately about Christian baptism.  In the case of the false teachers mentioned in 1 John they seem to be guilty of some Christological error.  This would also seem to be the case in 2 Peter and in Jude.  I don’t know of any clear case in the NT where the false teacher in question was just in error about some sexual ethical matter.  In the Pauline letters the false teachers are in some cases Judaizers—- seeking to impose circumcision and the whole Mosaic covenant on Gentiles.”

My only point here is that there is, among deeply knowledgeable and orthodox people, a diversity of views on this question.  The Lord will sit us all down in heaven and clear things up for us.  In the meantime, the millstones Matt seems so anxious to handout can be put back in the garage.

[49] Posted by Clive on 3-25-2013 at 08:11 AM · [top]

RE: “would have definitively classified the pre-Crossan/pre-Spong +Shannon Johnston as a false teacher . . . “

Heh.  Of course, there was no “pre-Crossan/pre-Spong” Shannon Johnston.  Shannon Johnston deconstructed Scripture, tradition, reason, sin, the Fall, salvation, sanctification, the sacraments in general, marriage, the Church, and as Matt Kennedy has astutely pointed out, promoted a fraudulent vision of the nature of Jesus Christ, in order to get to his tip-of-the-iceberg viewpoint about blessing sex acts between men and between women.  The foundation was already well-laid.

His promotion of Crossan and Spong merely nicely demonstrated where he already was theologically, the corresponding oblivion of Tory Baucum, and the necessity of repudiating and damaging the “ministries” [sic] of such false teachers, rather than promoting them.

[50] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 08:22 AM · [top]

” I don’t know of any clear case in the NT where the false teacher in question was just in error about some sexual ethical matter.”

But that is hardly the only place where Johnston is in error.  He brings in known heretics to “train” his clergy, participates in lawsuits against Christians- and has voted funding dozens more, supports the deposing of orthodox clergy, recognizes the legitimacy of numerous false bishops, plays fast and loose with the creeds, ordains persons who cannot be ordained….

To have misrepresented this as just question of “some sexual ethical matter” is completely misleading.

[51] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-25-2013 at 08:26 AM · [top]

My question for our SF readers [sans Clive, of course] is . . . given his beliefs that blessing sex acts between men or between women is “secondary” and unconnected to foundational falsehoods about Scripture, tradition, reason, marriage, the sacraments, the Fall, sin, redemption, repentance, sanctification, salvation, and Christ . . . and given that Clive’s beliefs are in line with Welby’s “really good statement” which essentially states that once those who believe the Gospel stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the false teachers and revisionist bullies of TEC and the COE [and elsewhere] “carrying” disparate and antithetical gospels to a needy world, we will then, according to Welby, “find ourselves regarding those with whom we disagree as fellow Christians” and will understand that we must “live” with them . . . given all of that . . . what do you suppose the odds are that Clive has shared those beliefs with individuals and leaders in the ACNA parish where he serves?

[52] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 08:33 AM · [top]

RE: “But that is hardly the only place where Johnston is in error.  . . . “

Oh no no no, TJ—Clive is only referring to the “pre-Crossan/pre-Spong +Shannon Johnston” which existed a month ago, but which, tragically for the “reconciliation” meme propagated by Welby, developed with blinding rapidity Quite Quite Recently.  ; > )

[53] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 08:36 AM · [top]

Clive wrote:

1. “My only point here is that there is, among deeply knowledgeable and orthodox people, a diversity of views on this question.”

So what?  There was “a diversity of views among deeply knowledgeable and orthodox people” about slavery in the 18th century.  The same could be said about many other controversies through the ages.  How does a mere assertion of diversity add anything constructive to the discussion?

Your point could only have relevance if you are asserting that the existence of diversity itself carries some weight about the substantive issue?  That’s just garden-variety liberalism, but at least has some credibility.  But if that is not what you are suggesting, then why waste our time with a non-argument?

2. “The Lord will sit us all down in heaven and clear things up for us.”

With this argument, you justify that no Christian should ever speak out about any subject, which is clearly not the message the Bible speaks to us. 

3. “In the meantime, the millstones Matt seems so anxious to handout can be put back in the garage.”

I assume this is meant to be a reference to Matthew 18:6-7?  Let’s have a look at what that passage says:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

Clive, I agree entirely with the way you link these verses to +Shannon Johnston as a person who “leads these little ones astray”.  But note in the passage that other Christians (such as Matt+) do not “hand out millstones”, nor do they keep them in garages (a weird metaphor - where did you come up with it?). Rather, it is Christ who warns false teachers that it would be better for them in the last day that they have a great millstone hung around their necks.  If anyone hands out millstones, it is Christ.

4. “I engaged Dr. Ben Witherington ...”

I am sure if Ben Witherington wants to make a public comment about this issue he will do so.  I cannot see him authorising his views to be published via a slice from a private email, and devoid of context.

5. I will now have a look at the purported words of “Ben Witherington” as though they are your own, which seems the more likely case:

6. “Baptism is an important theological issue, but notice that Priscilla and Aquila don’t treat Apollos as if he was a false teacher or a non-brother.”

Of course they don’t.  Apollos was not teaching that sin is not really sin, as +Johnston does.  Nor was Apollos consorting with those who deny the divinity of Christ.  There is no connection between the case of Apollos, and that of +Shannon Johnston.

7. “In the case of the false teachers mentioned in 1 John they seem to be guilty of some Christological error.”

Why make such a vague statement, when 1 John is quite explicit.  For example:

“Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” [1 John 2:4]

The issue for the Apostle John is obedience to Christ’s commands.  That is the same issue that arises with +Johnston, and the Apostle makes clear why that is so a few verses later:

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.” [1 John 3:7]

Note the clear warning - those who lead God’s people are astray, are those who teach his chidren to do other than what is right - which is an accurate description of +Shannon Johnston.

8. “I don’t know of any clear case in the NT where the false teacher in question was just in error about some sexual ethical matter.”

That is because you are not well-read in the scriptures.  If you were, you would have immediately thought about Paul’s rebuke to the Corinthian elders who had failed to discipline sexual sin:

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.  And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?” [1 Cor 5:1-2]

In any case, your argument is specious - the New Testament gives us some examples of false teachers, but nowhere does it tell us that thereby any false teaching not specifically mentioned is okay.  Rather, the Bible tells us plainly that false teachers are those who teach the church to depart from God’s law, in any respect.

[54] Posted by MichaelA on 3-25-2013 at 08:51 AM · [top]

Michael - I quoted Dr. Witherington’s response in full and he gave me permission to attribute it to him in public fora.

[55] Posted by Clive on 3-25-2013 at 08:56 AM · [top]

Ben Witherington is a fine scholar. But he doesn’t have a great record when it comes to discerning error. He’s one of the evangelical “wise-men” who defended Rob Bell…at least until he recently bared his fangs. http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/03/ben-witherington-justin-taylor-john-piper-and-the-rob-bell-circus/

[56] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 09:29 AM · [top]

It is a pity that Clive has posted on this thread again, contra comment #43, since now he’s unable to respond to the rather cruel set-downs his Scholar’s Quote has received [because as everyone knows here at StandFirm, once one quotes a Top Scholar, all debate must cease].

[57] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 09:38 AM · [top]

“...sexual ethics matter…”

I am convinced that it is impossible for an ‘otherwise orthodox’ teacher to err in teaching solely on the presenting topic, given (i) that Jesus Christ endorsed marriage and taught against porneia; and (ii) his teaching was affirmed in multiple examples of apostolic teaching.   

The damage to the text (and christian teaching) is simply too great.

[58] Posted by tired on 3-25-2013 at 09:52 AM · [top]

To teach that Jesus can or will bless same sex unions is not merely a sexual ethics matter. It is to present another Jesus altogether…one who is not revealed to us in the NT but who is imagined and created in the mind of the “teacher”. This Jesus is an idol who cannot save who presents a gospel that is no gospel at all.

[59] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 09:56 AM · [top]

“Michael - I quoted Dr. Witherington’s response in full and he gave me permission to attribute it to him in public fora.”

But you did not quote the actual question(s) he was responding to.  How that was phrased could have a huge impact on how he would answer.  All a matter of context, you know.

Early on, Clive stated (I think) that he was in ACNA.  Since he clearly believes that the error of TEC bishops is insufficient to cause division in the Church, how is it that he has committed the huge error of dividing himself from them?

[60] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-25-2013 at 11:15 AM · [top]

Oops.  My bad, I should have read 57 before posting my last.  Please strike my #60 if it is considered off topic for the thread.

[61] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-25-2013 at 11:16 AM · [top]

Clive can always respond to you via Private Message, TJ.

[62] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 11:21 AM · [top]

Hi tjmcmahon,

Great questions…pity “Clive” cannot answer.

I especially appreciate this point:

“Early on, Clive stated (I think) that he was in ACNA.  Since he clearly believes that the error of TEC bishops is insufficient to cause division in the Church, how is it that he has committed the huge error of dividing himself from them?”

Exactly, if he is a member of the ACNA and he believes, as he noted over on PeterO’s site that he believes this is a “second order issue” he must repent of his divisiveness and reconcile immediately with his former bishop and seek re-admittance into TEC.

[63] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 11:22 AM · [top]

“what do you suppose the odds are that Clive has shared those beliefs with individuals and leaders in the ACNA parish where he serves?”

I would think that the probability approaches 100%

[64] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-25-2013 at 11:28 AM · [top]

Hi tjmcmahon

“I would think that the probability approaches 100%”

yes…me too.

What I find most interesting are the not-so-veiled threats “Clive” has leveled in the thread above and the attempts to lure me into conflict with bishops.

I suppose that is what cowards do when losing arguments…issue threats and try to pull in bishops.

[65] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-25-2013 at 11:34 AM · [top]

TJ—I think one thing this thread demonstrates, and the others in which Clive has participated, both here and elsewhere, is how very important the questions are that search committees in ACNA need to be asking of prospective clergy.

Obviously many new ones spring to mind to add to the list.

[66] Posted by Sarah on 3-25-2013 at 11:39 AM · [top]

Definitely agree on that Sarah.  And in choosing candidates for seminary, and one also hopes they are being quite selective about WHICH seminaries to send people to.

[67] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-25-2013 at 12:55 PM · [top]

Clive at #55, I note that Dr Witherington gave you permission to publish his response.  Therefore, the relevant parts of my post at #54 should be treated as responses to Dr Witherington, rather than to yourself.

[68] Posted by MichaelA on 3-25-2013 at 04:23 PM · [top]

tjmcmahon at #67, very good point.  The seminaries are vital to defending a church against apostasy, and all efforts should be made to secure, them monitor them, and clean them out from time to time if required.

[69] Posted by MichaelA on 3-25-2013 at 10:02 PM · [top]

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