Sunday 30 December 2007

Packer Obsession and GAFCON Plans

This piece by James Packer explains all that one needs from their perspective.

Here are some choice texts getting my interest for comment. Whilst he comes up with some rubbish about gay sex, which would also rule out oral sex:
First, it violates the order of creation. God made the two sexes to mate and procreate, with pleasure and bonding; but homosexual intercourse, apart from being, at least among men, awkward and unhealthy, is barren.
I don't want to quote more of this and give it more than it deserves. This is an obsession of theirs, and just as the Bible is not a book about science nor is it a book about sexual practices.

What are these GAFCON folks doing?
The present project, however, is precisely not to abandon...

...but to realign within it [Anglicanism] , so as to be able to maintain it in its fullness and authenticity...
Clearly then there is structural change intended, and this GAF Conference is launching a future change in associations. At root it is anti-liberal.
...liberal theology, which has become increasingly dominant in seminaries and among leaders in what we may call the Anglican Old West - that is, North America in the lead, with Britain and Australasia coming along behind.

...since Anglo-Catholic leadership began to flag.
This is quite interesting. Indeed there is some agreement about this, as with the Michael Hampson book (2006) Last Rites: The End of the Church of England (Granta). The Anglo-Catholics were divided after ordaining women, leading to a straight battle: yet the evangelicals were supposed to have the numbers to take on the liberals. How come then that they identify liberal theology as so persistent?

Well now; with liberal leaders thinking and teaching in these terms, a collision with conservatives - that is, with upholders of the historic biblical and Anglican faith - was bound to come. It came over gay unions...

It is this way around. They have been looking for realignment for a long time. The gay issue is one they can unite on. It seems that the old method of delay and duplicity will no longer do - well it will no longer do when there are Civil Partnerships or the equivalent and indeed gay marriage in many countries. How can a couple be in the closet in Church, a supposedly moral community of honest living, when such is open in society? This is not about liberal theology, it is just simply practical.
...we see our realignment as among other things, an enhancing of our solidarity with them [claimed 90%]. As I said earlier, what we are doing is precisely not leaving Anglicanism behind.
This is an arrogance of leadership: it is always the leaders who have fallen out with the lost faithful in the pews. The Conservative Evangelicals might find that the faithful in the pews are rather mixed in beliefs, wishes, doubts and even sexuality. People in the pews are not sheep but well capable of thinking for themselves.

Once they have set up shop these SCRUNTSKie folks are not going to hang around. There will be missionary Churches on the intervention in America model, with consecrations and loyalties to African hierarchy. This is what will make it a different Communion because it will be duplication everywhere.
Right from the start church planting will be central to our vision of what we are being called to do....

heading out into unknown waters but committed to the Anglican confidence...
In other words, it is the full deal, the big effort, and they will know that their failure could be the more than just an end of claim to the ninety percent. They already have a power base of support in the African Churches, but they will probably have only limited success in many Western countries. The price they pay, however, will be Western Churches finally able to be honest themselves, to bless gay couples setting out in life together and have all kinds of folk in ministry without the obsession about what people get up to in the bedroom.

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