Anglican Samizdat

March 3, 2009

Diocese of Ottawa: making wrong things right by doing them

The Bishop of Ottawa has decided to begin blessing same sex unions. The reason given is:

Just as the Church was not able to come to a clear mind regarding the benefits of the ordination of women to the priesthood until it experienced the priestly ministry of women, Bishop Chapman has taken the process of discernment with regards to same sex blessings to a place beyond discussion.  Bishop Chapman believes that moving forward in the spirit of experiential discernment will allow parishes and congregations to observe and learn; allowing the Church to be better informed moving forward in preparation of next steps at General Synod 2010.

“While the issues are many, the solutions complex and the timelines demand our patience, it is my intention to move forward in our ongoing spirit of discernment,” stated Bishop Chapman. “We must “experience” the issue as a Church before clarity of heart and mind might be attained” adds The Bishop.

This new piece of Angli-jargon,  experiential discernment, gives the game away: the Diocese of Ottawa has abandoned its Christian heritage in favour of mock existentialist soup.

An atheistic existentialist such as Jean-Paul Satre would claim that, since there is no God, humanity does not have a predetermined essence that controls what we are or conditions our views of right and wrong. Rather, through making his own free choices, a person creates his essence – and his own right and wrong – by what he does. We create our own nature; existence precedes essence.

This only makes sense if you assume there is no God; but that has not stopped the Diocese of Ottawa from using the same principle in “discerning” whether same-sex blessings are the right thing to do. Instead of looking in the bible to find out God’s design and plan for humanity,  the diocese is saying “we will create our own moral laws by engaging in a questionable practice until it seems right.” This goes beyond pragmatism: the pragmatist does things and is content if they work. An atheistic existentialist does things to create their “rightness”.

Yet more evidence to show that the Anglican Church of Canada has ceased to be a Christian Church.


  1. What next: experiential discernment in favour of blessings for “idolators, adulterers, greedy, drunkards” and everyone else named in 1 Cor 6:9-10?

    Comment by Scott Gilbreath — March 3, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  2. So the good bishop has decided to spit on Lambeth, the ACoC House of Bishops, two thousand years of church teaching and clear scriptural prohibitions. And his reason? “experiencial discernment”. In other words: I’m going to jamb it down your throats whether you like it or not in the faint hope that you’ll “discern” that I’m (the bishop is)right.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — March 3, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  3. Modernizing reforms might get good headlines, but in the long run, no one seeks shelter under a tree that bends with the wind.
    ~Joseph Brean

    Comment by gawk — March 3, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

  4. I know it is not the Christian thing to do, but I really want to open my window and yell “I told you so” at the top of my lungs……

    Comment by Kate — March 6, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  5. […] of next steps at General Synod 2010.” See the National Post story,  the Living Church story, Anglican Samizdat’s analysis and the diocese’s Crosstalk […]

    Pingback by ANiC – 9 March 2009 « The Occasional Christian — March 10, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  6. One can’t help analogizing “experiential discernment” – I’ll experientially discern my position on temperance by getting drunk; I’ll experientially discern my position on virginity by having sex – whoops, hard to go back, isn’t it?

    Comment by Henry Troup — May 5, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

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