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Good Disagreement, Generous Orthodoxy, the Nomenclature of Anglican Fudge

Good Disagreement, Generous Orthodoxy, the Nomenclature of Anglican Fudge

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
June 14, 2017

One of the great anomalies of Anglicanism is that it has a whole lot of very smart and very bright people who know how to use language in such a way as to confuse ordinary lay folk like myself.

Now I know why Jesus chose 12 largely unlettered fishermen to be his first disciples, because they learned early on to call their yea, yea and their nay, nay. No fudge. Did the ascension happen? Yes, we saw him go up out of sight and there were 500 witnesses. No fudge. When Jesus said He (meaning God)
"made them male and female" he closed the sexual matrix door and never opened it again. No fudge.

Probably the smartest of Anglican fudgists (my word) was Rowan Williams, who literally made words mean what he wanted them to mean and, by doing so, made sure that no one really understood what the blazes he was talking about. This meant, of course, that he was brilliant and full of wisdom. Allegedly. But he didn't fool the likes of Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh, who saw through Williams' multiplicity of words and called him on it, just as Rowan was told politely to leave Lambeth Palace and high tail it to academe, where he can now fudge his students for the rest of his life and theirs. Here is what Okoh said; "You have left behind a Communion in tatters: highly polarized, bitterly factionalized, with issues of revisionist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and human sexuality as stumbling blocks to oneness." No fudge.

Was Arius a heretic, just ask Rowan, but for a contra view ask Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, who actually holds a different view from than that of Rowan Williams. According to Anis the schismatic, heretical Arians and their modern counterparts, (in TEC) will die out, the orthodox will flourish and grow.

The only absolute the former Archbishop of Canterbury seemed to have was his hatred of orthodox Anglicans, even though he claimed affinity in his views with the Russian Orthodox Church. He was also opposed to abortion, but supported homosexuality.

Now we come to the latest occupant of Lambeth Palace, a man who rode in on the white horse of evangelicalism, but who has done nothing but disappoint evangelicals ever since he got the job. Justin Welby has done the impossible and unthinkable. While claiming Holy Trinity, Brompton, as his spiritual home and ALPHA as his point of embarkation to new life in Christ, he has, almost from Day One, disappointed the very constituency who were waiting to rally around him and who had high hopes for renewal and revival following the lamentable reign of Williams of Oystermouth.

It was not to be. He has forever defined, and taken to new levels, the meaning of Anglican fudge.

Does he believe sodomy is good and right in the eyes of God? Well, that depends on how you ask the question. Does feeling the alleged pain of homosexuals warrant a full court press on homophobia, a word made up by pansexualists against anyone who opposes their behavior. And why not say "homosexual behavior" rather than the more generic "homosexuality", because by doing so you can fudge the answer and accuse people who disagree with homosexuality of being homophobic. It's a game of words, much like the word Islamophobia. People rightly fear Islamic extremists and terrorists and should be allowed to say so without being yelled at for being Islamophobes.

Welby even said that if one of his sons was to announce he was gay, he would go to his marriage, shutting the door on reparative therapy, even though there are thousands of now happily married couples who can testify otherwise. (There used to be full-page ads in major US newspapers attesting to that until they were denied the right to advertise the fact because of the incessant cries of homophobia by the gay lobby.) And don't get me started on Proposition 8.

Sources now tell VOL that Welby's attitude and behavior has become like "a thug" in dealing with any opposition to his Anglican reconciliation views on which he has poured out his diminishing capital.

And the harder he tries, the worse it all becomes. He had Canon David Porter, his first reconciler-in-chief but he got pushed upstairs and the job is now in the hands of a woman, Sarah Snyder his new Advisor for Reconciliation. Bishop Graham Kings, Welby's theological reconciler, The Anglican Communion's ACC reconciler, Josiah Idouw-Fearon, along with a host of moderate corporatist bishops are all pushing the cause of reconciliation. However, the harder they all push, the worse it all becomes. Witness what happened in Scotland this past week. All talk of reconciliation sailed right out the window when the GAFCON primates announced they will lay hands on Canon Andy Lines to provide a safe haven for Europeans (and that includes Britain) for orthodox Anglicans who fear the growing pansexual onslaught.

Of course, they were told that no one would be forced to marry two queers, but I can tell your from long bitter experience that that is a myth. Women's ordination was once optional in The Episcopal Church and the consciences of those who disagreed would be preserved. That barely lasted from one general convention to the next. Now no diocese can deny a woman the "right" to serve, even a lesbian bishop no less.

As a sop to evangelicals, Welby placed a miter on the head of the Rev. Rod Thomas to placate the conservative wing of the Church of England, but that has clearly failed to galvanize them. To prove the point, we have emergent movements like the Anglican Mission in England, (AMiE) a new Anglican bishop in Jesmond and now, horror of horrors, an Anglican bishop who has had hands laid upon him by GAFCON primates from the Global South including Africa, South America and Sydney, Australia. No fudge.

Welby's mantra has been "good disagreement", a laughable notion, as the two words cancel each other out. If there's a disagreement, it can't, by definition, be good. Not even Welby can lift the Law of Non-Contradiction. You could try the word "good compromise", perhaps. In truth, what we have now is just plain disagreement heading towards schism.

The Primus of Scotland, one David Chillingworth took fudge to a new level this week following his Church's passage of sodomite marriage. Here is what he said, "The Communion expresses a growing spectrum of diversity. In that context, reference to a 'majority stance' seems misplaced. It is part of the genius of the Anglican way that we express unity in diversity -- as we have tried to do this week in Scotland." Pure Anglican fudge. Diversity is resulting in a slow but steady schism and a breakdown in the Anglican Communion now being exploited by the GAFCON primates who delighted in sticking it to the Scots and the British by using their proxy Primate ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach! A brilliant move incidentally because Welby couldn't accuse the Africans of stepping on British soil. They chose an AMERICAN, the ecclesiastical equivalent of a raised middle finger.

Another master of Anglican fudge was Frank Griswold, former TEC Presiding Bishop. His mantra was "generous orthodoxy". By this, he implied that if we stretched the word "orthodoxy" (right doctrine) to include sodomy and then attach the word "generous" to it, we could all suddenly agree on a behavior that is specifically proscribed by Scripture. He sold it successfully to TEC's House of Bishops, who wanted to agree with their leader. Griswold also called himself an Anglo-Catholic, when in truth, he was an Affirming Catholic because he embraced both pansexuality and women's ordination. Not a voice was raised against his misuse of language.

At the end of the day, all the linguistic shenanigans will (and are) failing. Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics are not buying it. They are staying close to the Scriptures, 'yea and nay' and 'the faith once for all delivered to the saints'. And they will not be moved. No fudge.

END

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