Thursday, 3 July 2008

Mirror Mirror

When the larger socialist party tells the activists who organise their own cliquey revolutionary cell that all it does is "run a debating society, flap about and generally make a noise," then the revolutionary cell looking at the socialist party's failure to transform society will say that all it does is "run a debating society, flap about and generally make a noise." It uses the same words back. It is an attempt to display equal failing, and yet the bigger body should have had success by now. It is also an attempt to divert and redirect from what was a serious point when made, and is also unlikely to be true. In other words, the perception of failure by the revolutionary cell is broad brush whereas the socialist party has made some small and some significant advances of more an evolutionary change.

This is what Chris Sugden has done in his Comment is Free argument in The Guardian. A day later than the Bishop of Southwark's piercing attack on the FOCAs and GAFCON, Chris Sugden pinched his words and used them back.

For five years, the Episcopal church in US, the Anglican church of Canada, and elements of the Church of England and church in New Zealand have acted precisely like the student unions of the 1970s and Militant tendency in putting facts on the ground and defying the authorities to do anything about it.

It does not work in reverse; examine it closely and it makes little sense. What facts on the ground that authorities were defied to do anything about it. The Militant and Student Unions didn't put facts on the ground, they organised lists of demands and carried out actions over and again in a wearisome takeover of Student Unions and leaving moderates to make transitory negotiations to settle. This is what the bishop was saying.

Another method is to distort history and bend it so it is not true:

If the current dispute is merely a matter of different perspectives and emphases, as the Archbishop of Canterbury suggests, why are the bishops who are promoting this different gospel driving people out of their churches and removing licences from priests such as Dr Packer?

Well Dr Packer refused to obey his diocesan bishop, and the rule is you do. If you don't want to, you can leave. If you don't, you should make way for someone who will. No one stops you from leaving, individuals or congregations. Packer wanted his cake and to eat it, but such was not available. He joined another network making it clear he was out of communion with his bishop, coming under the Southern Cone, and thus was deemed to have left the Anglican Church of Canada. In Anglicanism the congregation never invites the bishop in to a service, the bishop goes an exercises his rights in one of his congregations. So they were not driven out, they had left.

The idea that the Archbishop of Canterbury should meet the self-declared Primates' Council on "neutral territory" would be the humiliation intended. There is no neutral territory anyway, no unless the Primates' Council have left the Anglican Communion.

What on earth is he on about when he refers to Yes Minister? Is he saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury's response was verbose and leading down blind alleys? So much for him saying that the Lambeth Conference would want to agree with much that GAFCON was about. He is far too charitable.

Are these Archbishops elected leaders? Again, it' a reversal trick when we know that the most democratic of Anglican Churches is The Episcopal Church - indeed it is so participatory that in the infamous Advent Letter of 2007 Rowan Williams was questioning the exercise of the bishops' charism in that Church, its very basis of organising.

The Jerusalem declaration and statement restate what Anglicans have believed in some locations in the past as well as the present. Once again, no one is required to assent to the Thirty-nine Articles specifically except as one of the historical formularies.

His article is just another ragbag of statements designed to bounce back statements and distort.

And then, that meeting at All Souls Langham Place where Chris Sugden was in attendance along with some FOCAs Primates. Graham Kings states:

During the evening, there was a Question and Answer session with the panel made up of Greg Venables, Henry Orombi, and Peter Jensen. However, no questions from the floor were invited and only questions which the chairperson already had on a clipboard were asked...

I wonder what sort of parallel organisation has that approach, where the questions are controlled in advance! Says it all, really.

1 comment:

cryptogram said...

I was speaking with a young priest yesterday who told me that a couple of years ago he had been with a group of theological college students to a meeting addressed by one of the GAFCON Trio. They came from a non-evangelical college, and were clearly and deliberately herded into seats from which any attempts to ask questions would be unseen.

What do these guyd fear, except the light? And someone once said something about that.