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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Anglican obsession - a rejoinder

Hi Andrew

I think it is I who had a skewed memory of the numbers. It was some time ago - actually when the Interim Report on Sexuality came out (pun!) and Michelle and I went Church hunting for a while before returning to the mother church (StD's)

Obviously if there is a split then there will be sharp divergence of opinions in both groups - the reason why they split in the first place!

In terms of loyaties etc, of course our first loyaty is to Christ. But as I heard another Anglican say (again on the ABC), there is a tendnecey to desire unity above all which is of course a false god.

Liberalism as I understand it appears even earlier than the 50's - the late 19th Century I believe - and has played around with ideas such as the 'historical' Christ etc. The horrors of the first world war should have nicely done away with the supposition that everyone is basically good.

In any case denominations for me are really a much less accurate means of understanding where a person is coming from theologically than they used to be. I remember recently visiting a cemetery in Casino (NSW), and finding people were variously buried in parts of the cemetery labelled "catholic", "methodist", "presbyterian" etc (although the methos and the pressies were co-located, perhaps implying a future unity?).

Movements like liberalism or evangelicalism tend to cut across denominational boundaries - although within Anglicanism there are the "highs" who tend to be liberal and Anglo-Catholic and the "lows" who tend to be evangelical (in my experience). I wouldn't think that dissolving and reforming along theologically lines would be very helpful. I imagine more likely following splits there might be "Federations" or similar of like-minded churches. Both streams obviously would claim to inherit the traditions, customs and beliefs of their forefathers - strange for both liberals and conservatives!

In the UCA as I read it, it is the parishioners and parish ministers who tend to be much more theologically conservative than the church hierachy. This has been explained to me in terms of ministers who are theologically liberal are generally not suited (by self-selection or otherwise) for parish work, while those of a more traditional, conservative bent are (and are also a better match for their conservative congregations). What are your views on this issue?



1 comment:

Phil Dillon, Prairie Apologist said...

I grew up in the Episcopal church in Massachusetts. I left as an atheist in my teenage years. Even at that early age I longed to reach out to a God who was not only transcendent, but also close and personal. The church leadership couldn't offer me anything. It was basically make your own way in life; make the best of it.

While there are some things I miss as an adult now (the sense of wonder and mystery in church), there is so much taht I do not miss, especially keeping God so distant that He has/had no relavance to every day life.