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The Forum > Article Comments > Doing the Lambeth Walk > Comments

Doing the Lambeth Walk : Comments

By Bruce Kaye, published 30/6/2008

The decision that no Anglican bishops from Sydney will go to the Lambeth Conference is another example of Anglicans living out their difficulties in public.

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"Doing The Lambeth Walk" is a fair title for the article by this Anglican song and dance man. His whole reasoning, and indeed belief system is predicated on the so-called "authority" of the Bible.
The Bible is no more than a collection of fictional writings by human essayists with their attendant ignorance of, or disregard for, fact and truth.
It is the largest selling work of fiction in the world, but fiction nonetheless.
It is frightening that organisations as large as the Christian churches build their entire credibility and invoke an authority stemming from this load of lies.
Thanks to modern education and scientific logic, we are seeing a huge decline in the followers of Christianity, a reason, perhaps, that God and Gullible both begin with a "G".
Posted by Ponder, Monday, 30 June 2008 8:41:13 AM
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Ponder, you have stated your case plainly, so plainly that it is obvious that nothing that happens at Lambeth will have any effect on you. You obviously would never attend a church, so why stick your nose in here?

Bruce, you have written:

"But is not the Christian model to associate with sinners and tax collectors? And is it not a commendable activity for Christians to engage and argue face to face with their fellow Christians when they disagree with them?"

In reply I would point you to:

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you".

Attending Lambeth, with those who support sin in the church rather than those seeking to correct it, is to support interpretations of the Bible that are disagreed with.
Posted by Hamlet, Monday, 30 June 2008 10:03:42 AM
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Dear Hamlet

Why so mean to Ponder?

Whether or not Ponder wanders into a church is her/his business but let me assure you that the world is suffering from the extreme views of people like 'The Fambly Jensen'as they turn the 21st century back to 2008 BC.

I have heard that Andrew Denton is raising a fund to pay for Jensen's return to Afhganistan and the little madrassah he so desires.

Whether it is Jensen or Pell, who declares 'secularism is dead' and 'only the Vatican can return true democracy to the globe', we all have an investment in what church leaders say and attempt to force politicians to do.... one only has to remember the grovelling to Hillsong from Liberal and ALP pollies, or the waste of $165m on the NSCP scam, or the $90m+ on the Vatican Rag we are all hosting in NSW shortly to realise these are powerful and potentially dangerous people who need to be discussed and questioned far more deeply than they are currently in the meeja.

Besides, who really knows whether any 'Gawd' exists?

At last I've found an answer to why bees cannot be found in heaven and I do suggest both Ponder and Hamlet take a trip to see why this is so:
Posted by The Blue Cross, Monday, 30 June 2008 10:43:47 AM
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Bruce Kaye makes some serious points which deserve discussion. He says “Portraying the present dispute as being about the authority of the Bible frames the argument so as to presume that the Bible is the only authority”.

If following Bruce’s suggestion a church does acknowledge plural authorities (as most churches do) some interesting consequences follow.

Tradition and individual conscience are two secondary authorities commonly mentioned. Suppose, for argument’s sake we then have the following hierarchy (in descending order of power)
1. Scripture
2. Tradition
3. Conscience

If scripture is ‘ultimate’, then any conflict among these authorities is automatically resolved by deferring to scripture.

However if there is only one unassailable and unchangeable interpretation of scripture, this has the effect of collapsing the hierarchy into one item only – scripture (as interpreted) – and the rest have become irrelevant because they can never prevail.

I don’t think that’s what Bruce would want, or was trying to say. But what’s the alternative?

For a system of plural authorities to have any substance, each one must to some degree be malleable and able to be influenced by those below it that conflict with it – including the ultimate one itself.

So if conscience, for instance, challenges scripture (as interpreted) then conscience doesn’t automatically get punched in the face and told to lie down, but the interpretation of scripture is necessarily challenged (scripture as such can’t be challenged because it’s words on paper – only its interpretation can be challenged).

History gives us many cases of where this challenge of scriptural interpretation by individual conscience has been successful – slavery being one notable one.

Bruce Kaye’s comments make sense - but only to a point, and that what and who does the interpreting of scripture is the elephant in his room.

By failing to acknowledge it, he allows the notion of plural authorities to become empty and thus demolishes his own position in the argument.

Regrettably, Jensen and others fall into the same trap and otiosely pretend that there’s only one possible interpretation of their favourite anti-gay scriptures – namely, their own.
Posted by Tuckeroo, Monday, 30 June 2008 10:50:26 AM
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When you see the list:

Uganda, Rwanda, Sydney, Nigeria

It’s a bit like playing “one of these things is not like the other”. In terms of history, economy and culture, Sydney has no natural inclusion in this group of nations.

For the record, I’m a Sydney Anglican, and I believe that the weight of biblical authority lies with Peter Jensen on the issue of ordaining homosexual ministers.

However, it is a concern that this squabble is brought into the secular domain where the issues, being totally dependent on scripture, are incomprehensible for the non-believer.

Of greater concern is this: Sydney sitting down at the African table in an alliance which excludes the body of the Anglican Church. The Christian African nations are practicing their faith in non-western cultures, surrounded by Muslim nations, where human rights abuses and humanitarian crisis is the norm. These nations simply cannot tolerate gays in their midst, let alone, allow a practicing gay access to the ministry.

I can’t help wondering if the African representatives understand scripture as it applies to homosexuals. On closer inspection, the churches are not calling for reform, tolerance or acceptance of gays and lesbians in the community, or protection of their lives. In fact, there is a movement toward harsher penalties. Their motivations seem to be culturally driven, not scriptural.

Bowing to pressure from the Muslim nations or unstable, tribal African nations is not where Christians find communion, on any issue.

Looking at this group one-by-one, starting with Nigeria, the most populous (140 million+), Sydney’s involvement in this group is nothing short of bizarre..

Posted by katieO, Monday, 30 June 2008 8:47:14 PM
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Niger to the north of Nigeria is 90% muslim and Islam has advanced south to take a stronghold in northern Nigeria (including adopting Sharia). Christianty is concentrated in the southeast.

“Nigeria is about to set itself apart, yet again, in one of the most sweeping anti-gay laws in the world. While the pending civil law proposes a lighter sentence than the criminal law, its legal reach is breathtaking. Interestingly, homosexuality is already criminalized in Nigeria. Depending on whether the accused is Christian or Muslim, the penalty is either 14 years imprisonment or death by stoning.”

Under Islamic Sharia law adopted by Muslim states in the north of Nigeria, homosexual sex is punishable by stoning to death, but no one has suffered such punishment, until in recent times, the likelihood of this punishment being carried out is increasing."

Uganda (30 million), predominately Catholic and home to the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (known for forcibly recruiting child soldiers and raping women), . To the north is Muslim Sudan, where the humanitaritan crisis and genocide of Darfur rages.

Homosexuality is illegal, denounced as a foreign import and Uganda is one of the countries that practice the strongest sanctions against homosexuals worldwide, including torture.

Rwanda (10.1 million) was regarded as one of the most "Christian" countries in Africa and the world, with some 80% to 90% of the population calling themselves Christian (Roman Catholic majority with a strong minority of evangelical Protestants). And yet, Rwanda is remembered for one of the greatest genocides of modern human history.

"MEMBERS of Parliament want a law against homosexuality enacted. Currently, there is no such law in Rwanda but MPs consider homosexuality illegal.

Mauritania, Nigeria and Sudan have imposed a capital punishment on homosexuality.

Meanwhile Rwanda's Anglican Church joined the growing list of African churches which oppose homosexuality."

Instead of the churches shining a torch for human rights and the protection of life, they are jumping into the fray. The Sydney position on homosexuality and the inclusion of gay people in fellowship is very different to the African position.
Posted by katieO, Monday, 30 June 2008 8:58:09 PM
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