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Archbishop Welby: schism would be a failure, not a disaster

Archbishop Welby: schism would be a failure, not a disaster

Photo of Archbishop Welby asking for prayers from Primates 2016 site 

As the meeting of Primates in Canterbury begins today,  Justin Welby, Archbishop, has said that a schism would be a failure but not a disaster, noting that the point of reconciliation is not agreement, but agreeing to get along despite serious disagreement.

The BBC has analysis by their religion correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, of the statement by Archbishop Welby.

From the article:

“It would not be good if the Church is unable to set an example to the world of showing how we can love one another and disagree profoundly, because we are brought together by Jesus Christ, not by our own choice.”

He continued: “Certainly I want reconciliation, but reconciliation doesn’t always mean agreement – in fact, it very seldom does. It means finding ways to disagree well and that’s what we’ve got to do this week.

For analysis and more quotes, read the full story on the BBC site.



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Susan Weikel Morrison

From what I’ve gleaned from years of study and listening is that God is not a physical entity. God is lovingly concerned about our souls, not about physical existence. So man or woman, gay or straight, rich or poor, alive or dead – all irrelevant to God. It’s the state of your soul that matters.

June Butler

When my days here on earth are over, and I will be called to give an account of my life as a Christian, I am immensely grateful that I will be judged by loving and merciful God, and not by certain Christians I have known.

Cynthia Katsarelis

“For example, Jesus very pointedly said that the way is narrow that leads to salvation.”

But he didn’t put any humans in charge of defining that narrow way for others.

When I face Judgment, hopefully to the tune of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, I hope that Jesus is more interested in my work in Haiti, and at the UN, and the time I rescued that dog, than in how many people I oppressed into suicide and depression.

Anne Benedict

“But he didn’t put any humans in charge of defining that narrow way for others.”

Well…he did actually.

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

June Butler

Amen, Cynthia.

Cynthia Katsarelis

He wanted Peter to continue the teachings and Jesus did not teach on gay people. Peter was never infallible, and he’s dead now.

To the best of my knowledge, all of the provinces have Apostolic Succession. And yet TEC and AoC are teaching compassion, love, and inclusion, and the GAFCON leaders are teaching hate to the point of having gays jailed. I don’t think anyone person is in charge, in 2016. Unless, of course, you are Roman Catholic, and we are not.

Cynthia Katsarelis

For the record, I regret my last sentence and wish I had framed it very differently. Somehow, I think Judgment is going to be like Mahler 2nd, filled with love, even if I have to face my errors. I know that my parents went out with love and to love.

While I understand that individuals and institutions err mightily, it’s hard to understand a sustained effort to do things that hurt others. When did the church see the light on slavery, witch burning, and antisemitism?

Kevin McGrane

I read an article on the GAFCON website. One of its leaders describes non-GAFCON theology as “cultural Marxism” and Islam as fascism. This mindset is coming to Lambeth to discuss a way forward? Really? Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.

Leslie Marshall

When you mix cold water with hot…(that which distinguished them) no longer exists.

Our God is a God of distinctions:

Rev3:16…’because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.’
1 JN2:15:…’love not the world’.
MT12:30…’if you are not for me, you are against me.’
James3:10…’does a fountain in the same place send forth sweet water and bitter?’

Cynthia Katsarelis

This theology isn’t very Anglican, Leslie. It seems like bits of Scripture are cherry picked to show your point, when many other passages are available that show a very different vision of Christ. That is the fundamental problem of fundamentalism.

I really can’t see how someone gets from Jesus’ clear commandment “don’t judge,” to “I’m authorized to judge.”

Prof Christopher Seitz

How very right you are. It is all about the character of God. YHWH–the triune God. Hallowed be His name.

Cynthia Katsarelis

The salient word, Christopher, is God. Not people, not any person. Somehow, some people have gotten very confused about who’s in charge of souls.

What does a world of tolerance and equality and justice look like? Wouldn’t it be nice to know? I think it looks like the Kingdom. For some reason, some people think it looks like Sodom, even though Ezekiel makes it clear that Sodom was a land of plenty that let people starve and was inhospitable to strangers.

Cynthia Katsarelis

Philip, Matthew 19 is about divorce. It is not about defining all marriages for all time. This is stretching a justice passage into an injustice.

In Jesus’ time, women couldn’t ask for divorces, but men could dismiss their wives. For women, divorce meant being kicked out of the household. Back then, not being under the protection of a male household left women horrifically vulnerable. Matthew 19 is a justice passage to help protect women from being cast out.

Jesus was a man of his time, though his teachings of compassion and justice are good for all times. He spoke in Aramaic, and the NT was written in Greek. True understanding requires a study of the culture and language. And some things will always be enigmatic, like cursing the fig tree. We do our best and much for salvation is there, but it is dicey territory to use it to discriminate against gays or anyone else.

The anniversary of my marriage is next week, though we’ve been together 24 years. We were married, joyfully, in our parish church, 175 people came and the music was worthy of William and Kate. It was truly sacramental, our marriage is clearly sacramental. So I don’t appreciate it being disparaged, just like a straight person wouldn’t. And I’m sick of the misuse of Scripture to hurt people instead of lift them up. This schism business is ridiculous in a world that needs us to pull together on real issues of human suffering. (Of course, some of the GAFCON bishops impose real suffering on gays…).

David Allen

Philip, leave monitoring the comments to the editorial staff and you stick to offering just your opinion in your comments.

You cherry pick scripture all the time. You judge people all the time. Your theology has issues all the time.

People who live in glass houses…

Get the speck out of your own eye…

Philip Snyder

It seems like bits of Scripture are cherry picked to show your point, when many other passages are available that show a very different vision of Christ. That is the fundamental problem of progressive fundamentalism.

For example, Jesus very pointedly said that the way is narrow that leads to salvation. He very clearly said we would be judged by our deeds. He very clearly told the disciples to shake the dust of certain towns off their feet. He very clearly got angry at the Temple “pay for pray” system that had developed.

Jesus very clearly defined marriage in Matthew 19. I really can’t see how someone gets from Jesus’ clear instruction on marriage (Matt 19:4,5) to “Two men or Two women can get married.”


Cynthia Katsarelis

Hm. David, I was under the impression that Jesus was saying that no one did live up to the standard themselves. He talked about people wanting to remove the specks in other peoples’ eyes, while missing the log in their own. When he intervened in the stoning of the woman, he said “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” To me, that indicates that no one is qualified to judge.

I would not like to see “wiggle room” for people to decide for themselves that they live up to the standard and therefore can oppress others. We’re going to have to disagree on what Jesus is teaching.

Prof Christopher Seitz

Dear Fr Scott

As a canonical scholar, yes: but within the entire argument of Romans, including chapters 1-8 as a whole especially, before the grand 9-11, and finale.

God bless you. Amities en Christ.

Marshall Scott

And also, Brother Christopher (and I’m sure you will not disagree), “nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39b, RSV)

Prof Christopher Seitz

“A God without wrath brought people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

H.R. Niebuhr

David Allen

I’m going to disagree with you on something you say often. Jesus didn’t say “Don’t judge.” He said something very different to that. You always edit what he said and cut it off. Jesus said not to judge unless you could live up to the standard yourself by which you judged others. That’s a very different idea.

Gregory Orloff

Leslie, if you take time to read the gospels, you will find that Christ Jesus taught us that God isn’t quite the God of sharp distinctions you think.

Christ Jesus tells us that God doesn’t discriminate between sinner and saint — no, instead, “he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45), lavishing his love and care on sinner and saint, the thankful and the ungrateful alike, without distinction.

Christ Jesus tells us that we must do the same if we are to be “children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44) and “children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35).

And so Christ Jesus commands: “Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36).

Love God, love your neighbors, love your enemies, treat others the same way you want to be treated — these gospel commands of Christ Jesus are certainly spiritually healthy foundations for any church trying to relate to the world, which God so loves, around it, and in which it lives.

Cynthia Katsarelis

Amen, Gregory.

Gregory Orloff

Repeat: God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45)

In other words, he makes no distinction in whom he loves and cares for: saint and sinner alike are objects of his love and care.

May God give us the grace to do likewise, so that we can truly be “children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44) by imitating the Father “who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked” (Luke 6:35).

God’s love for one and all — what a compelling reality in the gospel of Christ Jesus!

Thanks be to God for it!

Leslie Marshall

Evil and good are not the same as saint or sinner. I’m a sinner. I’m a saint. (A saint is any Believer… & all believers are sinners.)

Even though I sin, God sees me as righteous, sinless. (just as Abram’s faith made him righteous.)

While it’s true that God blesses whom he decides to bless…(believers & non-believers), all do not enter The Kingdom. (‘I never knew you.’)

He does make a distinction between those that know Him, and those that reject Him. Otherwise, he sent his Son to die –for nothing?

Of course– –we are to love the brethren & love the (enemies of Christ) the same. I’ve experienced hostility & disdain from a man that lives at the homeless shelter, he mocks my faith to my face. Nevertheless, I continue to pray & treat him kindly. Saturday, he (the mocker) approached me and was kind of friendly. Another man, who is schizophrenic, reached across the table to shake my hand, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you, ‘ he kept saying. ‘You are the one that told me about Jesus.’ ‘You’re alright. Thank you. thank you. you’re alright. thank you.’

In both cases, the victory belongs to Jesus.

David Allen

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Jeremy Bates

Actually Jesus is not your judge. Rather he is your “only Mediator and Advocate.”

Leslie Marshall

Jesus didn’t torment me, (although he did convict me) he gave me a choice: ‘repent, believe & sin no more’, OR ‘have it your way & pay the price –eternity in hell.’

Cynthia Katsarelis

“Don’t judge.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Of course, some people have decided that they are personally qualified to make exceptions to Jesus’ commandments. Jesus never tormented an outcast or sinner. Never. But he had harsh words for the religious establishment for doing just that.

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