I haven’t said much about it. Partly because I’ve been moving, but partly because it’s not really my place to say it.

Here’s the word I’ve been waiting for.

Bottom line is this: All of our debates have been about homosexuality. There seems to be this belief from the conservative side that “gays run the church”. It really doesn’t work like that. Instead, the church is run by aging baby-boomers who came-of-age in the time of civil rights and either marched or now regret not doing so. Spurred by activists they are eager to be on the right side now but in their eagerness have failed to do what they themselves purport to recommend: listening.

They are not listening well to their people, gay or straight.

I know bishops aren’t representatives; their jobs are not to represent a constituency—but their jobs are to be shepherds of souls.

They would do well to heed Christopher’s advice. Stop talking about issues; start talking to people.

7 thoughts on “Lambeth

  1. The young fogey

    Trying to send this again:

    Here you, I and First Things’ Joseph Bottum on mainline decline (long but well worth the read) agree.

    The civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War crusades happened around the time the mainline churches were still authoritative and formative in the culture and so became leaders in those movements (IMO Desmond Tutu’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize 24 years ago was Anglicanism’s last hurrah in the world scene on this); boomers are old enough to remember that, are nostalgic for it and often act like those churches still are leaders in the culture, which may be why they take themselves so deadly seriously. (Like the liberals’ ‘They’re destroying the church!’ hysteria when leaving or being expelled from the Anglican Communion wouldn’t harm them one bit.)

    It’s all about… themselves.

    Of course the ‘listening’ rhetoric is only condescension (Delphi technique at best?) and the conservatives know it; both sides believe in absolutes.

    I don’t doubt that the liberal side believe they’re doing God’s will but there’s also that element of trying to recapture the magic from 40 years ago.

    So I read things online and write comments (explaining the situation to conservative RCs for example) but try not to blog too much about it all. It’s not my fight (it’s liberal Protestants against conservative Protestants, not a Catholic issue) and until the denomination actually splits and/or what’s left of English Anglo-Catholicism goes en masse under Rome (yes, I hope it does; it’s its only future)… it’s not news.

  2. bls

    Derek, I don’t think most of the so-called “orthodox” have the first idea what you’re talking about.

    Fogey here wants to convince us that “listening” is equivalent to “condescension.” The so-called “orthodox” continually perseverate on “liberals” and “mainline decline” – meanwhile having literally no clue what you’re speaking of.

    They just don’t give a damn what happens to gay people. With a very few exceptions, they don’t know, and they don’t care to know.

  3. Christopher


    Yikes! Now that my “rant” has been roundly circulated by others under the aegis of “prophetic”, I will continue to eschew such terms. That term, prophet, is a scary term that causes the likes of me to shake in my boots.

    I think what bothers me, as my latest post begins to tease out in conversation with others, is that the “theo-speak” we use to describe how God is in turn suggests how we are to be with one another–they inevitably overlap in an faith that proclaims and professes God Incarnate as Jesus Christ. The present “theo-speak”, however, seems deeply at odds with what I am coming to understand our Prayer Booker christology to be as I research, read, and write.

    This gem from Maurice is simply at odds with the present language and tone of our conversations theological and practicable, and it is creating an atmosphere not of generosity, hospitality, friendship, self-gifting, mutual upbuilding, and service, but of clobbering one another and using one another for other ends. We are becoming an ecclesiastical example of incurvatus in se before a worldwide audience.

    It is, as you have long observed, about who will have the power, and it seems, who will have the power to say “You’re out”. And tempting as that is, including for myself, the kind of church it is creating is one far from our common prayer principle and heavily rooted in unexamined lust for control and dominance on several sides as we move to levels of abstraction that simply do no uphold the type of in-the-flesh relating that is necessary as Christians of the Prayer Book tradition.

  4. Oriscus

    Christopher –

    (I really should re-post this at your site)

    “Shaking in your boots” is *precisely* the way a prophet ought to feel.

  5. Derek

    I couldn’t agree more. And who better to completely lose sight of what is really important (e.g. Anglican/Episcopal identity) than the generation of Vietnam, the 80’s, and GWBush?

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