Sunday, July 21, 2013

Would it be Sunday without the angry Sydney Anglicans taking on the pagans and the gays?

It's excitement city time at the angry Sydney Anglicans, as Davies goes head to head, glove to glove, with Smith (nominated by Mark Thompson of Moore College, say no more) in a fiery smackathon, as you can read in Archbishop-in-waiting.

Inter alia, it included this poignant remark from Davies:

...we prayed for each other, because – especially with social media, which provides a great temptation for immoderate, unedifying discourse – we wanted to model godly and edifying discourse.

Well the pond is always on the search for immoderate and unedifying discourse, and what better way to start than by celebrating David Pettett celebrating the way brave Sydney Anglicans have stood up to the Pagans.

Truly, according to Engaging a community, up Katoomba way, there was all sorts of stuff that could send your average Sydney Anglican in to a total Reverend Lovejoy meltdown:

Twenty years ago Katoomba started its Winter Magic Festival, celebrating the winter solstice. 
It was a decidedly 'New Age', 'Pagan' event, a counter to Christians. The churches closed their doors. Witches, warlocks, fairies and goblins paraded. 

Shocking. But there's good news, and such a relief:

The event has changed somewhat over time and has more of a community focus and inclusion these days. People still dress up and the odd warlock can still be seen. But the pagan symbols have been removed from the promotional material. 

Um, but it's still on the solstice, right? It's still a pagan ritual? 

No, thanks to the steadying hand of the Anglicans, the pagans are being tackled head-on:

Here is a church that exists in a hard place, side by side with an overtly pagan, new age community. It has become the Christian voice in this public sphere from which it once retreated.

Oops, a little clarification please:

My article is about the engagement Christians are having with their community but I may have given the impression that they had retreated in the presence of an overt paganism until recent times.

Ah well, it was a good story, pagans in retreat, angry Anglicans back off the mat and on the march ..., while it lasted.

The pond has only one suggestion. Until they stop holding it on the winter solstice, the pagans will be winning. There's no time for faint-hearted fellow-travelling here, the festival must be shifted to John Calvin's birthday on 10th July, and to hell with those pagans ...

Meanwhile, Michael Jensen is on hand, ready to tackle a subject even more problematic than pagans, which is to say teh gays, under the header Book review: Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry...

Anybody who expects an answer to the actual question in the header will be bitterly disappointed, as will anyone expecting an answer to interesting questions such as why did god create gays - so She could persecute them?; or why did god allow homosexual behaviour in other parts of the animal world - so she could perplex bigots and irritate angry Sydney Anglicans?; or why is god such a misery - is it because She really likes kicking people around and making them miserable over the form of sexuality She's given them, because it's so much fun...

No, Jensen isn't having any of that:

It’s ‘the issue’, isn’t it? 
If ever there was an issue in the Western world for which Christians feel assailed, then it is homosexuality. Gay rights is a political and social issue that doesn’t seem to want to disappear anytime soon, with the push for same-sex marriage seemingly sweeping all before it. 
The media seems extraordinarily biased in favour of this agenda, and against those who take a different view. The churches are most certainly the enemy, as far as this debate goes. And so the ‘issue’ has become one of those things we are known for, like it or not; it is a cause in society with which the Christian community is associated, and not much in a good way. 

Oh dear, the media, totally biased and pushing an agenda. Is that paranoia slip showing or what?

Why it turns out that even the actual Sydney Anglican site is part of this deviant agenda:

(One of the few complaints I have about this excellent website is the amount of stories it links to that are to do with homosexuality. The impression given sometimes is that in the Sydney diocese it is our particular fixation.) 

Oh no, fixated Angry Anglicans. What a tragedy if there was a hint of gayness about the place. And then to a confession:

And so the temptation is for church people to forget that this is not ‘an issue’. It is not simply about ‘us’ and ‘them’ in a political or social argument. It is about real people, many of whom are ‘us’: the people alongside us in the pews of our churches, and their children. I know I have spoken angrily or aggressively about the 'gay agenda' in such a way that any Christian who was themselves experiencing same-sex feelings would have felt very alienated.

Well indeed, because you just whinged about the media and the angry Anglican website.

But is there a way forward?

Sam brilliantly explains how sexuality is not the same as identity, and how the gospel helps him to see that. He does not make rash promises about change, although he does know some people who have experienced a change in their same-sex attraction. He also reminds us that the Bible is very positive about singleness as a calling, and doesn’t absolutise marriage at all. One of the best sections of the book is the section ‘What should I do if a Christian comes out to me?’ The advice is exactly what pastors especially need to hear, but any thoughtful Christians as well. 
I would really hope that this short book is widely read. It should be available in any church or youth group, and I pray it will be of a blessing to Christians seeking to live a God-honouring and biblically faithful life.

And there you have it, in one short burst, every form of patronising exclusion that can be mustered. Feeling a little gay? Work on a new identity ...
Feeling like changing your gayness ... well it can be done, it might just take a little work, but no rash promises, just loads of guilt and humiliation ...
Still feeling like a gay fuck ... ever thought about "singleness" as a calling ...

And so on and on, down to the Reverend Lovejoy sign-off.

The long absent lord help any young gay person caught up in an Anglican church and being hectored, lectured and admonished about the need to live a god-honouring, biblically faithful, screwed up, fucked-up, self-denying, self-abnegating life ...

Finally it's been such a long time since the pond dropped in on Cardinal George Pell's musings for the Sunday Terror. Well that's because they've stopped printing them at the Catholic site here.

Maybe there is a god after all, and She's decided to do the right thing, and support the Terror's paywall ... thereby saving thousands from enduring Pellism ...


  1. I wonder if the Sydney Anglican candidates and supporters would be so be so courteous to each other if one of the candidates supported the gay agenda or female ordination? I think the gloves would come off and words like heretic, sinner and banishment would be their descriptors. History speaks for itself.Just as well Sydney Anglicans can sing their own praises because I'm not sure that many others can!

  2. My God, they are such liars! In the election article they say:

    Unlike State or Federal elections, the candidates aren’t ambitious and focused on winning – and they’re certainly not out on the hustings spruiking for votes. Both Bishop Davies and Canon Smith have accepted nomination at others’ request, and are leaving the decision up to the will of God as expressed by Synod.

    What about this then? In what universe is this guy not spruiking? They must think their readers are complete idiots – and they might be right.

  3. Are Reffos the new Homos...

  4. Are Reffos the new Homos
    Well, let me see.... They "chose" to be Refugees... tick. But if pressed, they would probably say it wasn't a choice, they just are.... tick. Other people saying they are not Refugees doesn't seem to change this reality... tick. Waiting for equitable compassionate legislation to allow them the same rights as others seems a distant hope....tick. No society or culture is completely innocuous, all can produce Refugees... tick. Think you might be on to something there. drsusancalvin


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