Anglican Samizdat

April 21, 2010

We need a new word for squabbling amongst bloggers

Filed under: blogging — David Jenkins @ 2:45 pm
Tags: ,

Perhaps “sbloggaling”. And here is some prime sbloggaling between Stand Firm and David Virtue after SF published a reaction to Rowan Williams’ video address to the GSE4 conference that David Virtue didn’t agree with:

More bullshit from stand firm. I was there. There was polite applause when Rowan ended.
Fuckwits at stand firm wouldn’t know poop if it hit them in the face..

Who cares who’s right? The entertainingly comedic enlightenment on the human condition is all revealed in the sploggal; it was the same in the Sopranos.


April 20, 2010

Extravagant mud slinging from the Christian dimwit contingent

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 4:33 pm
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Margot Fernandez from the Tuscon Liberal Christian Examiner seems to think that the ACNA is full of bigots and that Archbishop Peter Akinola is a war criminal. Contrary to my initial suspicion, she is not related to Christopher Hitchens:

Episcopal bigots supported by prominent African war criminal.

Another thing that jumped out at me in the story–and I am sure to anyone who is aware of the human-rights record of the African Church–was the presence of Peter J. Akinola at the meeting. Just in case some of you may still not believe that I am the Oracle of Truth, here is a link to a page detailing the actions of Akinola in the Nigerian Church. It doesn’t go into his personal militia and his war crimes against Nigerian Muslims, but look at his career here: I heard of Akinola and his slaughter of Nigerian Muslims right here in Tucson, where horror stories about him have arrived years ago. Nice guy for the ACNA to hang out with.

Up until recently, Archbishop Peter Akinola was Anglican Primate of Nigeria and spent his time building the Church of Nigeria into a “bible-based, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined, self supporting church, committed to pragmatic evangelism and social welfare: a Church that epitomises the love of Christ.” The Anglican Province of Nigeria now has the largest number of active Anglican Christians of any Province. Peter Akinola managed to achieve this in the odd moments when he was not occupied with the favourite pastime of prominent Anglicans – slaughtering Muslims.

April 13, 2010

The Free Anglicans in Hepworth

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 5:33 pm

Are a group of about a dozen independent Anglican Christians in Hepworth Ontario who do not worship in an Anglican Church of Canada parish Add an Imagebecause of the ACoC’s increasingly rapid drift away from Biblically orthodox Christianity. A priest, Father Robert Mansfield, from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCoC) visits once a month to administer Communion.

The congregation is presently meeting in the Hepworth Community Centre. Up until 40 years ago, the community centre was an Anglican Church; it still has stained glass windows, altar rails and the church bell – on display on the front yard – still rings even after being exposed to decades of Ontario winters.

The building is over 100 years old and in need of repair; the town Add an Imageis now considering whether to demolish or sell the building. The congregation is willing to raise funds to assist in paying for the repairs, but is too small to completely pay for them.

The congregation has asked for prayers and, for those who may be interested in assisting in helping to preserve this building for its intended use of glorifying God, they can be reached here and at 519-374-4371.

The town is holding a public meeting about this on Wednesday April 14th and can be reached here.

April 2, 2010

Rowan Williams speaks plainly at last

Filed under: Rowan Williams — David Jenkins @ 8:22 pm
Tags: ,

Unfortunately, it’s about the Roman Catholic Church:

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility because of the child abuse scandal, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In a rare breach of ecumenical protocol, Dr Rowan Williams criticised the Catholic Church over its handling of the paedophile priests crisis and made plain his anger over the Pope’s plans for a new ordinariate to tempt dissatisfied Anglicans over to Rome.

Rowan may well be right. He should know; after all, he’s the head of the Anglican Church and it is awash with credibility.

March 31, 2010

More Anglican moaning about funding cuts to Kairos

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 2:07 pm
Tags: , ,

The editor of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa’s paper (page 5), Art Babych reckons that government cuts to Kairos were retribution for Kairos’s anti-Israel bias:

But this isn’t about CIDA’s priorities, is it? The denial of 35 years of government funding for KAIROS, coupled with the recent firings amid a politically charged atmosphere at Rights and Democracy over the funding of some groups critical of Israel, suggest that in government quarters, criticism of Israel is the new anti-Semitism. And that should send a shudder through all who value free speech, not only those groups who criticize Israel.

I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if Art is correct; I wouldn’t be particularly upset, either. In fact I’d be rather pleased.

Whatever the reason, though, this is in no way a curtailing of free speech. By not giving taxpayer money to Kairos, the government is not preventing Kairos from saying whatever it wants; it is just not being paid to say it by you and me.

I wonder if Babych’s devotion to free speech would extend to allowing Ann Coulter to speak in his city?

March 17, 2010

The Anglican credibility crisis

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 12:39 pm

According to an Anglican peace advocate, the solution to our Anglican credibility crisis is more ecumenism. Credibility crisis? What credibility crisis?

Ecumenism is antidote to credibility crisis, Anglican peace advocate says

“We need to emphasize time and again the sense of mutuality and interdependence as the basis of relationships between Christians”, said Dr Jenny Plane Te Paa, convener of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network (APJN). This is especially important at a time when “denominations are increasingly worried with internal, identity-centred issues and therefore risk a credibility crisis”, she added.

“We all tend to claim our differences in ways that prevent us from acknowledging our commonalities, so that within the churches, the fidelity to our denominations becomes more important than our higher fidelity to our oneness in Christ”, said Te Paa. “Only a theology of mutuality can help us to transcend this through a truly ecumenical attitude”, she concluded.

Speaking of credibility, the APJN is a supporter of International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)

The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) will be a “harvest festival” celebrating the achievements of the Decade to Overcome Violence which began in 2001.

And we can all see how well that has worked.

February 16, 2010

Where are the Anglican protests over homosexuals killed in Iran?

The Anglican Church is in the West is falling all over itself to condemn the homosexuality bill before the Ugandan government. Here is the screech of outrage from the Anglican Church of Canada:

COGS passed a resolution that expressed its dismay and concern over the draft proposed anti-homosexuality bill currently before the parliament of Uganda. COGS resolved to call upon the church of the province of Uganda to oppose this private member’s bill, and called upon the Government of Canada, through the Minister of External Affairs, to convey to the government of Uganda a deep sense of alarm about this fundamental violation of human rights and through diplomatic channels, to press for its withdrawal; and asked the Primate to send this message to the appropriate bodies.

The bill as it stands is draconian and has been opposed by the Anglican Church of Uganda.

What is strange, though, is Iran has been routinely hanging homosexuals for the last 30 years with no real trial except an appearance before a sharia judge; and the Anglican Church in the West has not protested at all.

Where is the deep sense of alarm, the dismay, the message to the appropriate bodies? Entirely absent.

Does Fred Hiltz only care about Anglican homosexuals? Perhaps the Anglican Church is not as diverse and inclusive as it would like people to think.

How to hit the headlines with a sermon

Filed under: Anglican,Christianity — David Jenkins @ 3:10 pm
Tags: ,

Tell women they should submit to their husbands.

This goes so much against the Zeitgeist, is so politically incorrect and seems so outrageous to contemporary sensibilities that the Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times all carried the story.

Something that was not mentioned in any of the articles is the fact that it was Christianity that elevated women from being the property of a man to being his equal, a child of God. From a review of Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History:

Stark produces impressive evidence that Christianity was deeply appealing to pagan women, for within the Christian sub-culture, women held a much higher status than did women throughout the Greco-Roman world. Women were recognized by Christianity as equal to men, children of God with the same superantural destiny; moreover, the Christian prohibition of polygamy, divorce, birth control, abortion and infanticide contributed to the well-being of women substantially, securing them dignity and rights within both Church and state. One effect of this higher status was to increase the number of Christian women, which in turn led to a superior fertility rate for Christians, another factor in the growth of the faith.

The papers also made little mention of the fact that in Ephesians 5, just after the “wives submit to your own husbands” verse, we find:  “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” While women submit to their husbands, husbands have to love their wives as Christ loved the church: in other words, a completely selfless love: the husband would die for his beloved.

Islam makes an interesting contrast: women are considered inferior to men and the Koran encourages a Muslim husband to beat his wife – an activity that is so common it ceases to be news:

When I first began to study the topic I did not realize that an Islamic marriage is not equivalent to a Christian marriage. Its rules, roles, and requirements are different. In a Christian marriage the husband is given the role as head of the household and the wife is expected to submit to the husband’s leadership. However, she is his equal in terms of social status; she is not inferior to him. In Islam the husband is also the head of the marriage, additionally he is his wife’s manager. Women are considered to be “in-between a slave and free man”. Slaves are not equal to their masters, rather they are subservient, managed, and controlled. Similarly, Muslim wives are inferior to their husbands and are managed and controlled.

As for, “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” women have the advantage of being able to sleep through the sermon and ask their husbands about what happened later; husbands have to be wide-eyed in rapt attention.

February 15, 2010

The Church of England votes to give homosexual clergy hookups full benefits

Filed under: Anglican,homosexuality — David Jenkins @ 3:31 pm
Tags: ,

At its recent synod, the Church of England voted to extend pension benefits to clergy in homosexual civil “partnerships”:

Prior to the vote, surviving civil partners of deceased gay clergy could claim pension benefits, but only back to 2005 when the Civil Partnership Act was introduced.

But now the Synod has voted to extend their pension benefits by offering surviving civil partners a pension based on all of their deceased partner’s pensionable service, equating them with widows and widowers.

The change means the Church of England will go beyond the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

One Synod member, who asked to remain anonymous, said conservative Synod members had deliberately withheld from taking to the floor to speak against the motion for fear of reprisals.

“They didn’t dare to. There would have been screams of homophobia if anyone had dared oppose it,” he said.

It’s good to know that the CofE is an inclusive church where all are free to speak their mind – as long as they maintain the harmony of the zeitgeist.

The Times, notes:

The Church allows gay clergy to register their civil partnerships, but requests that they remain celibate.

Nudge nudge.

How many homosexual clergy are there in the CofE?

In the London and Southwark dioceses, up to one in five clergy is thought to be gay, according to Canon Giles Goddard, co-founder of the lobby group Inclusive Church.

In Britain as a whole, the percentage of homosexuals is just 6%:

Six per cent of the population, or about 3.6 million Britons, are either gay or lesbian, the government’s first attempt to quantify the homosexual population has concluded.

So in the dioceses of London and Southwark, 20% of priests are homosexual, whereas in the general population, 6% are homosexual.

Why are there so many homosexuals in the leadership of the Anglican Church? Is it a deliberate recruitment drive by the church; are the robes particularly alluring; is it the funny hats?

Or is it a plot to subvert the only denomination that consistently preaches the true Gospel? No, that can’t be it.

Perhaps it’s the judgement of God as described in Romans: Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Rom 1:28. The ultimate punishment: letting people have their own way.

February 9, 2010

Why The Meeting House irritates Anglicans

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 5:25 pm

John Bowen has written an article about The Meeting House, why it is so successful and why Anglicans find that so irritating.

Some, of course, would think that 8,000 people showing up for worship, even in a cinema, would naturally be a good thing. What could there possibly be to criticise? Well, for a start, from an Anglican point-of-view, it is not liturgical worship. There is a lot of singing (led by a local worship band), followed by a pastoral prayer and announcements, and then a 45-minute sermon, broadcast on the big screen from the church’s headquarters in Oakville. Then we go home. So there is no liturgical shape or content to the service. Neither is the service (usually) Eucharistic. I was there once when there was a Eucharist, but it was in the last five minutes, tacked on at the end almost as an afterthought, and again with virtually no liturgical framework.

But, if we are honest, there is one thing that irritates us more than all of these combined: it is that The Meeting House is successful. Successful in attracting people—a lot of people, and a lot of young people at that—successful in holding on to (not all but many) of them, and successful in opening and filling new churches. If there is one thing that rankles with us, it is that kind of success.

He goes on to enumerate the aspects of the Meeting House that Anglican parishes might consider emulating in order to grow: use leadership gifts wisely; Christian education; home groups; rented worship space; discourage spectator Christianity; humility.

As is usually the case in this kind of analysis, two important points are missing:

  1. The meeting House actually believes what it is peddling. There is no Anglican dithering about the meaning of the concepts of Resurrection, substitutionary atonement, the divinity and uniqueness of Christ, the sinfulness of man, the reality of salvation, heaven and hell. The Anglican Church of Canada has for the most part abandoned this Gospel.
  2. The reason the Meeting House wants to draw in people is because of point 1, not because it wants to get bigger. The Anglican Church of Canada wants to draw in people in order to get bigger so that it can continue its middle-class social club.

In its more earnest moments the ACoC does engage in its favourite pipe-dream of immanentising the eschaton and it even hires people to help.

Rachel Jordan has some advice for Christians who believe that someone else is going to build the kingdom of God here on Earth. “There isn’t a Plan B – you’re it,” she says. “You are the people God has chosen to be his agents right here, right now.”

It still has nothing to do with the Gospel.

February 8, 2010

Victoria for Pope

Filed under: Anglican,Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 10:11 pm
Tags: ,

But first Canterbury:

Canada’s leading female Anglican cleric has courted controversy at a major church conference in Britain by predicting the eventual rise of a woman as archbishop of Canterbury.

“The signposts are pointing in one direction,” former Edmonton Bishop Victoria Matthews told Reuters yesterday during a global gathering of Anglican bishops at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. “I would be very surprised if it wasn’t accepted worldwide.”

Bishop Matthews, whose selection in February as the bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand, sparked an uproar among conservative Anglicans in that country, also shot back at Vatican officials who have complained the Church of England’s July 8 decision to begin appointing female bishops poses “a further obstacle for reconciliation” between Catholics and Anglicans.

“With the greatest respect, the Vatican has to understand the Anglican Communion is not synonymous with the Church of England,” Bishop Matthews said in the interview. “The Anglican Communion has had women in the episcopate for about 20 years. They really need to do their homework and realize that the communion is 38 provinces and not one with satellites. That is a pretty significant error.”

And here she is, prepared and ready.

February 7, 2010

Who are the real Anglicans?

Filed under: Anglican,Anglican Angst — David Jenkins @ 3:20 pm
Tags: ,

When I became a Christian, the final decision was simple. I felt like the thief on the cross with nothing to offer but sin, no recourse to good works to fall back on and, thus, no hope of earned salvation. I knew I was doomed without the only salvation that was on offer – the one from Jesus. There were no trappings, no liturgical requirements, no formularies, rituals or recitations, just a “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

In the current Anglican strife, what has become apparent is the desperation of each party to be included in the category “Anglican” while convincing everyone that the opposition should not. It is so pervasive that it raises the suspicion that being Anglican is more important than being Christian – perhaps because Anglicanism as it is practised in the West has become a buffer against the exigencies of real Christianity.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are determined that the ACNA not be recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and they are busy trying to sabotage the private member’s motion asking the CofE to recognise the ACNA. Such recognition would help confirm the “Anglicanism” of the ACNA, a confirmation TEC and  the ACoC are determined to derail at all costs.

For my part, I think the meanderings of Rowan Williams have the aroma of an institution long dead and now in an advanced state of decay; the vitality in the institutional Anglican Church is centred in Africa where to be Anglican also means to be Christian.

A similar parochial obsession is in evidence in the Archbishop of York’s declaring that ex-Anglicans who join the Roman Catholic Church as part of the Pope’s Ordinariate Scheme will not be “proper Catholics” – a contention roundly repudiated by at least some Catholics – as if such a thing bore the weight of eternal significance.

To solve the “who are the real Anglicans” problem, it might be best for Christian Anglicans to leave Western Anglicanism to bury its dead and take a new name: Aflicans, perhaps.

So who are the real Anglicans? Who cares.

February 1, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement on Bishop Mouneer’s resignation from SCAC

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 8:18 pm

is here

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today expressed his regret at the decision of the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Anis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, to resign from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion:

“Bishop Mouneer has made an important contribution to the work of the Standing Committee, for which I am deeply grateful. I regret his decision to stand down but will continue to welcome his active engagement with the life of the Communion and the challenges we face together.”

Translated into the common tongue, this means:

“Mouneer, baby, I thought you, me, Kathy and Freddie were getting on so well. This is going to bury me; how could you do this to me now? You say you and your orthodox Anglicans didn’t feel included; surely you could not have felt excluded – that is such an ugly word. Anyway, just as your African buddy likes to say, “there are no homosexuals in Africa” – “there are no orthodox Anglicans in North America”; so there. ”

January 24, 2010

Not much discernment from an Anglican in discernment for Holy Orders

Filed under: Anglican,Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 9:45 pm
Tags: ,

Geoff from The Rose Maniple made this observation:

One article I read in the aftermath of the new papal bull included a quote from an Anglican layman who said that he was attracted to the RCC’s strong stance on abortion and homosexuality, but didn’t think he could join if it meant signing off on the stuff about transubstantiation or the Virgin Mary (hint: it does). As a gay man who reluctantly swam the Thames in spite of my assent to those doctrines, I was astonished that he would seek out a church on such narrow grounds while sweeping away central Catholic dogmas.

I couldn’t believe that he was so offended at the thought of sharing a church with gays and lesbians that any church with a more conservative line thereon than the Anglican Church of Canada was preferable to him, regardless of whether or not he agreed with its central tenets.

The interview that Geoff regales us with above bears an uncanny resemblance to an interview I had with the Toronto Star a few months ago:

David Jenkins of Oakville said he likes the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion and homosexual rights.

“From that point of view, being Catholic is pretty tempting to me,” he said.

He would not switch, however, if it meant agreeing to Catholic tenets of the infallibility of the pope, the role of the Virgin Mary and transubstantiation, or the Catholic belief that the bread and wine of communion become the body and blood of Jesus.

A reporter’s account of an interview never quite captures what the interviewee actually says, of course, particularly when the interviewer relies on scribbles in a notebook rather than a voice recorder.

So I didn’t quite say what was reported in the Star. I did say that I respect and agree with the clear position the RC church holds on abortion and homosexuality, but the fact that I disagree with the RC doctrines mentioned makes the offer less than tempting. And I would have tried to swallow my own tongue before using “opposition” and “homosexual rights” in the same sentence.

Contrary to Geoff’s assumption, I would not be in the least bit offended by the presence of gays or lesbians in my congregation; I’m not offended by anything much – which is not to say I don’t disagree with some things and agree with others. The important question is, is the church in question Christian, a criterion that Geoff overlooked and which the ACoC is increasingly unable to satisfy.

Not that I suppose I am the actual “Anglican layman” in question.

As an aside, I have come to loath the phrases “swim the Tiber” and “swim the Thames”.

January 23, 2010

Anglican vicar complains to police to shut down blogger

Filed under: Anglican — David Jenkins @ 8:10 pm
Tags: ,

Rev. Stephen Sizer is an evangelical Anglican vicar who can’t – and, considering he is an Anglican vicar, this is such a surprise – help getting tangled up in politics. He is opposed to Christian Zionism, believing that it plays a negative part in the politics of the Middle East; having read some of what he has written, I am unconvinced. Rev. Sizer sounds like a relatively typical Anglican leftist politician-manqué who has the expected knee-jerk bias in favour of Palestine and against Israel.

I have little doubt that the using of his calling as an Anglican priest to dabble in politics – for that is what this is – does little for the Gospel, angers Jews and provides ammunition to Islamists who, given half a chance would destroy the West, including Rev. Sizer.

Seismic Shock is a blog  that regularly criticises Rev. Sizer. The particular accusation that has resulted in Sizer’s complaining to the police, is that Sizer has knowingly associated with Islamic terrorists and Holocaust deniers. The police paid the blogger a visit for a “friendly chat” about his blog.

Rev. Sizer, by resorting to bullying instead of publicising facts that exonerate him of Seismic Shock’s accusations, has reinforced the suspicion that there are no facts that exonerate him.

From Harry’s Place:

As some people have noticed, I’ve been rather quiet in blogging about the Reverend Stephen Sizer’s activities of late.

After all, what more can be said of a man who forwards emails from Holocaust deniersshares platforms with Holocaust deniers, and shamelessly flaunts his anti-Zionist theology before Iran’s apocalyptic Holocaust-denying regime? As Iranian pastors are arrested and house churches closed down, why is the Khomeinist regime translating Sizer’s book on Christian Zionism into Farsi? How many more times can I point all this out?

Yet there’s another reason why I’ve been quiet, and whilst I’ve held my tongue and my pen for a while, now is time to speak.

At 10am on Sunday 29th November 2009, I received a visit from two policemen regarding my activities in running the Seismic Shock blog. (Does exposing a vicar’s associations with extremists make me a criminal?, I wondered initially). A sergeant from the Horsforth Police related to me that he had received complaints via Surrey Police from Rev Sizer and from Dr Anthony McRoy – a lecturer at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology – who both objected to being associated with terrorists and Holocaust deniers.

(Context: Sizer has associated with some very nasty terrorists and Holocaust deniers; McRoy has delivered a paper at a Khomeinist theological conference in Iran comparing Hezbollah’s struggle against Israel via suicide bombing with the Christian’s struggle against sin via the atoning death of Jesus, and describes the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier as an “intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming” man who “gives quick, extensive and intelligent answers to any question, mixed with genial humour”).

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