In a recent post New Zealand Anglican pundit/blogger Peter Carrell offers a keenly-felt appeal to continuity unity in Anglicanism and a desire to retreat from the most heated rhetoric.
Writing from his context in New Zealand where the issue of marriage equality is coming before the upcoming General Synod he asks;
“Has our church suddenly become unorthodox because on this one matter of how we understand the gospel in relation to homosexuals we cannot subscribe to a traditional line on sexual morality?”
Though he himself has taken a conservative position on this matter, he doesn’t see it as an issue over which to divide and grants that those who disagree with him aren’t “abandoning orthodoxy,” but see the issue as an imperative of faith.
“There is no conspiracy, deliberate or accidental to de-orthodoxify our church. All the believers in the bodily resurrection of our Lord who also propose that we bless same sex relationships will continue after May to believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord.
I earnestly ask readers here to take care in what we think about the “other” in these matters.”
He also asks though, that those who support marriage equality and full inclusion might also see those who oppose this movement as being motivated by something other than hate:
“This request works the other way: it is very unhelpful, and not particularly Christian when proponents of same sex blessings zoom to judgment on those who oppose such blessings, using terms such as homophobia and bigotry, and presume that opponents lack compassion and concern for the GLBT community. That, likewise, is unfair, unjust and lacking compassion and appreciation for the concerns and care which lies behind opposition to blessings.”
Carrell’s post, unlike many from the conservative Anglican blogosphere, posits a view of the issues as not being central to a faithful Christianity. Such openness is a welcome change and one might hope it would spread. However, to those who have felt the disapproval and oppression of the church, such notions of “good disagreement” could be interpreted as something akin to “pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities” which stand athwart justice.
What do you think? What is the right path to follow?