Monday, 10 March 2008

Do you live in the U.S. or Canada?

Then relax, because Sydney's coming to save you.

The Jensens' are ready to launch your lifeboat. Click here and read this for an idea of the kind of propaganda being circulated about your good selves on this side of the world. And don't be deluded into thinking the problem has anything to do with people unable to grasp the concept of a God who blesses people with love in ways bigger than they can comprehend. Oh no; "The key concerns are the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ [and] the authority of scripture."

Right. Which is why we're now best friends with a murderous thug like +Akinola. Because he obviously understand the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture. Except perhaps for a few little bits, like "whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword", and "love your neighbour as yourself". Unlike you lot on the North American continent who have the temerity to acknowledge and bless those whom God has blessed.

Still, even though the rhetoric may be fierce, don't hold your breath waiting to see your rescuers any time soon:

However as Dean Jensen admits, the question is: "What is the best way to do that now?”

Which, for those who may be unfamiliar with Australian idiom, translates as "How much noise can we make without actually being pushed into leaving the Communion and losing our grip on all the lovely property and investments?"


Lapinbizarre said...

You've lost me this time.

John Bassett said...

Well, I somehow doubt that the Jensens will really take off in the United States. Talk about carrying coals to Newcastle. We've got Calvary Chapel! We've got Willow Creek! We've got Joel Osteen! We invented the purpose-driven life! Next to all this, the Matthians seem pretty dull, a pale imitation of good old USA megachurchery.

What about our disgruntled conservatives? Well, unless ++Sydney can make himself a Primate, he can't compete with Greg Venables for US parishes or dioceses. Plus, most of our right wingers love to wear those accursed chasubles. Heck, even in Virginia they burn candles and wear stoles. Unless Jensen decides that America is "worth a Mass" I don't see much of an opening here.

Lapinbizarre said...

When I first accessed this thread it consisted only of a header that read "Do you live in the US or". Nothing else. Hence my comment above.

Anonymous said...

seems to me that you have been reading Father Jake rather too literally. A more critical reading would have revealed that Jake's basis for alleging that Akinola is a "murderous thug" rests on his not answering one question in a manner he would have approved of in an interview with a former TEC PB's daughter two years ago. Cause for alarm, but essentially unproven.
The answer by Dean Jensen will be as you suggest to stay in the communion, but also to create new structures within the communion.
As to rescuers. Sydney has forsworn adopting overseas parishes. GAFCON, giving support through fellowship, would seem far more its style. That's consistent with the way Sydney has linkled with church plants in Australia -essentailly informally.

John Sandeman (who has ordinary radar, its not "of note")

Brian R said...

Very informal !!!!!
"Over the last five years, eight new churches have been established outside Sydney. Many of the pastors of these churches have been ministers in Anglican Diocese of Sydney and all except one has been through Moore Theological College. A number of ministers from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney are on the Board of Reference for these churches(Dean Jensen, Woodhouse?). In the Sydney Anglican synod of 2005, the links with Sydney Anglicans and the Independent Evangelical Churches was strengthened, with the possibility of the Independent churches becoming affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Sydney"
Whether Akinola is literally a murderous thug or not, he has advocatd the jailing of homosexuals and caused a leading gay man to flee Nigeria fearing for his life. Therefore I consider him and any of his supporters (Jensen?) to be my enemy. Okay I am commanded to love my enemy but I can still dislike him thoroughly.

Alcibiades said...

John: It was Father Jake's source that I read literally ( - since Father Jake was the conduit he deserved the link. The Atlantic article indicates a whole lot more "Cause for alarm" than just the "answer to one question" - there's actually a whole basket load of questions, none of which are being asked in the rush to embrace this powerful new ally in the fight to exclude women and people who love people of their own gender from ordained ministry.

In any case, something which is "Cause for alarm" should by definition cause alarm. Instead +Akinola was recently described in a Sydney Anglican media release as "greatly admired in the Diocese of Sydney" - a position which does not appear in any way changed by The Atlantic article.

For a comment on Dean Jensen's "new structures" it might be best to ask the women and gays called by God to minister in the places where he intends them erected. And in return will Dean Jensen advocate the same latitude to those wishing to minister to the multitude of Sydney's "unchurched" currently excluded by his sect?

The expression "rescue", and the language of "lifeboats" I took directly from Their words, not mine. Read the link.

And any connection with the Sydney-spawned evangelical parishes dotting Australia and NZ has been made ”essentially informally”? Spin like that contradicts the modesty with which you refute my comment to Boaz about your radar on Not the Southern Cross. I've lurked in a few of those congregations over the years, and the people in them certainly don't see the link as "informal". Nor, when speaking privately, do the Sydney-trained ministers. Nor do the bishops, clergy and laity of the communities into which these churches have been "planted" - which is Sydney's term for their establishment, not the locals’ (who generally prefer "white-ants").
And which bit of the link isn't "essentially" informal?

Thanks for dropping by John, and for commenting. Your input really is appreciated - I really do mean that. Just don't expect the dismissive Matthian clich├ęs will slip by unchallenged around here. Dialogue is welcome. Spin will be laughed at.

Alcibiades said...

Well put Brian: in a country where imprisonment is more often than not tantamount to a death sentence, advocating gaol for people who dare to express the sexuality which God has given them (and which Christ never mentions as being in any way a barrier to His love) seems to me fair grounds for describing someone as a "murderous thug" - as well as a lot of other names far less polite, but just as apt.

Anonymous said...

I might be old fashioned, but I think to call someone a "murderous thug" should require evidence. Neither Father Jake or Ms Griswold provides it.
To say that Ms Griswold's article raises questions as a reason for calling Akinola a murderous thug -as indeed it does raise questions - is to adopt the Father Jake method of condemning someone for not answering questions (which may not have been asked of them in the original interview). Somehow not answering a question the way Jake would like it answered becomes evidence of guilt once the charge appears on your blog.
I don't like it when Sydney Anglicans do similar things BTW.
(And in case you wondered I don't agree with Akinola's advocacy of sending homosexuals to jail. I agree that it would place them at risk. But Brian where did you get the figures that more than half the people in Nigerians die in jail? ("tantamount to a death sentence"). You might be right but do you have evidence? Or is this more Jakite discourse where being upset - even rightly upset about something - means you can make up statistics?)
In my earlier post I compared the Sydney response to parishes leaving the ACofC to the more formal response of the South Cone. (Or CANA or AMiA). Peter Jensen has turned down overtures from North America to become the Bishop for Parishes overeseas. There are undoubtably strong ties to St John's Shaunessy and Sydney - but they are not formal. And as I pointed out that is true of the local church plants.
I think it is helpful to point out that these are informal ties. There will be a debate about making these ties more formal in future I suspect.
I could have written a somewhat similar par to yours about those church plants but that was not the point i was making at the time. If you want every point included in posts we will both soon be as prolix as the inaptly named Briefing.
To conclude, I would have thought that those of a more liberal view would be prepared to give Peter Pensen some credit for resisting the urge to be a intercontinental bishop. Scott Gunn of inclusive church has made some relevent points about how blogging con force us to extreme positions and not recognise any good in those we oppose on particular issues.
I would hope that you will continue to laugh at all dismissive cliches, Matthian or not. i know I shall.

John Sandeman

Alcibiades said...

John: Brian didn't say incarceration in a Nigerian prison is for a gay man “tantamount to a death sentence”. I did. Sorry to be pedantic, but quite a few of the people who drop by here have spent much of their lives being misquoted and/or misrepresented by apologists for Sydney diocese and their ilk. If they wanted more they’d be posting elsewhere.

It’s also a claim I’ll standby. Obviously I don’t have precise figures, but you might want to take a look at a recent Amnesty International report on the Nigerian prison system before being too quick to dismiss me, especially given that Nigeria has the world’s second largest number of people living with HIV/AIDSand a health system incapable of offering any real response.

Can I give the Koori kids I work with part-time credit for not smashing car windows and stealing lap-tops? Because given the difference in their circumstances and education it strikes me they deserve a lot more kudos than +Jensen does for resisting any temptation to obtain advantages by breaking the law.

“Blogging can force us to extreme positions”? I didn’t realise +Akinola had a blog. And I thought Dean Jensen & company had Matthianism well established long before anyone had even heard of the internet ;-)

Good to know you’ll be laughing as well!

Anonymous said...

Sure you can give the koori kids you work with kudos for resisting temptation to gain advantages by breaking the law. More than any Jensen, more than me, more than any relatively priveleged person.
Sure the Nigerian prison system is a grim place. the PWLWA states are distressing. Still I am not so sure that you couldn't say, "well maybe I exaggerated that figure a bit" in regard to "tantamount to a death sentence"..

Alcibiades said...

No, I couldn't say that, because I don't believe it's true. On the basis of what I've read about Nigeria and it's prison system, and from what I've been told of that part of the world by several West African refugees who are part of my parish community, I honestly believe it is tantamount to a death sentence.

I believe +Akinola to be a murderous thug for not only his silence on the matter, but also for calling for GLBT people to be committed to the hell of his country's gaols for no other cause than that they've dared to be the people whom God has made them to be and loves. And that's before we even begin to discuss The Atlantic Monthly article.

As you'll see elsewhere around this place, I've got no qualms about apologising for any exaggerations and mistakes I make here, and I'm quite happy to be corrected when I'm wrong. God knows there's enough crap in the world (& blogosphere) without me adding to it.

But don't ever expect anyone here to apologise for calling violence, brutality and bullying for what it is. There's plenty of other blogs (and churches) where the justifications, euphemisms and spin can be tossed around with merry (I was about to type "gay", but realised that would be inappropriate ;-) abandon. This is not one of them.

Let's be honest about it: given +Akinola's churchmanship we all know the Matthians wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole if it wasn't for the "bible-believing" veneer in which he cloaks his homophobia, and the perceived advantages to be gained by supporting the present schism.

And that's grubby. Not to mention a whole lot of other words.

Anonymous said...

you are quite entitled to your belief that a Nigerian jail sentence is tantamount to a death sentence. All I ask is evidence. I concede that it may be out there. I am saddened that you appear to be happy to make the charge without the evidence.

Similarly, with regard to the orginal charge that Akinola is a murderous thug on the basis of the Atlantic article, I similarly note that you have not produced evidence.

You have attempted to substitute another charge; that Akinola advocates jailing people in a very bad jail system.

I believe that the conservatives in the Anglican Communion sometimes bring unsubstantiated charges against their opponents.

I oppose that. From time to time I engage their poor conduct.

Shouldn't i do the same to the anglican left as well?


Alcibiades said...

With respect to Nigerian prisons, I believe I have provided that evidence, or at least sufficient for me to be confident of what I believe. Whether or not you choose to arrive at the same conclusion is up to you. As is the conclusion of the proverbial "man on the Clapham omnibus" (to use a legal metaphor). Whom, I suspect, might be inclined to agree with me - but that's his call.

If you re-read what I just wrote, you'll see that I'm happy to stand by the epitaph of "murderous thug" when it comes to +Akinola irrespective of the Atlantic article. Griswold's report simply confirms my estimation of him. If it's wrong he's not going to have any problem finding defenders ready to present his case, and no difficulties grabbing column space with his version of events. And if convinced I'll have no problems apologising, and sending a correction along to Father Jake's while I'm at it. So far, however, the silence has been deafening. Which IMHO is uncharacteristic of the bishop and his supporters.

You're free to oppose anyone from any spectrum you wish, and your comments and criticisms are most certainly welcome here, and valued. Just don't expect that they'll be always agreed with - the only promise is that if you remain civil (or reasonably so) I'll always be proud to have you - or anyone else - sharing your thoughts here.

Incidentally, I'm always rather amused to find notions of "left" and "right" applied to church affairs. Like any good Christian, I prefer to think of my side of the argument as the "biblically-based" one ;-)

Brian R said...

I googled Nigeria prisons and 2nd item is from the BBC
"Many have to wait for years for the case to come to court.

Inside prisons, conditions are squalid and disease is rife; tuberculosis is common.

Human rights groups say inmates often fall ill, some die from a lack of adequate medical treatment.

Many cells have no beds or mattresses, the inmates sleep on concrete floors. Securing a blanket or a mat to sleep on is a luxury."
Whatever the conditions, why should a person who has sex with a consenting adult of the same sex bee imprisoned? When I grew up this was the hypothetical outcome for an otherwise law abiding, church going young person in Australia. Thankfully it was not likely to be the result in practice by then but we all remember Oscar Wilde. However even the criminal conviction would have been the end of my teaching career and the probable death by shame of my mother. I do not see why a so-called Christian archbishop should advocate this in his country today even if the prisons were models of sweetness and light which they obviously are not.

Anonymous said...

Epithet not epitaph, surely

Alcibiades said...

... a purely Freudian slip on my behalf, revealing the dark seething heart which lurks beneath this deceptive mild-mannered exterior.

"Once again the intolerance and anti-liberal heart of liberal Christianity has been exposed."

LOL ;-)

Anonymous said...

never been sure of Freud myself.... but that sounds more like a cross between Heart of Darkness and Superman.


Alcibiades said...

Flattery will get you everywhere around here.