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01 December 2009

Comments

 ryan


Hmm, wouldn't an 'evangelical' bishop in Glasgow (who, presumably, would go along with a no-gays-at-the-altar view) be a bit schismatic and, therefore, preclude them being a 'focus of unity'?

 ryan


As for :

The bands however could not long withstand the more refined, middle-class
sensibilities of college-trained clergy. These modern clergy preferred ‘organ-music
to any other’.15 It was cultural imperialism just as insensitive as any imposed by
missionaries in ‘darkest Africa’. And with very baneful consequences. For in came
organs and in came choirs. And out went men. ‘[F]or the first time in their lives’,
Hardy observed of the male musicians in church after their displacement, ‘they all
felt awkward, out of place, abashed, and inconvenienced by their hands’.16 And that
tragic cultural displacement was permanent. Men have not returned. The balance
shifted for the clergy ‘decisively away from their congregations to themselves.
Whatever the wishes of the villagers, Anglican services became more dignified,
more feminine and more clerical.’17 And, as they did so, they created a special
Anglican worship ambience – grand, beautiful and reverent perhaps – but ever more
remote from ordinary people, particularly men.

---------
Are evangelical, electric guitar style churches any more manly? I remember Frank Skinner making the (I would say representative) observation that, on a Sunday morning, Catholic churches (with attendant lacy ritual) are far more diverse (including ,e.g., hungover working class guys) than the intrinsically posh and comfy C of E place up the road. A guy who thinks that religion is for wimmin is hardly going to change his mind if you tell him that you prefer tambourines to choirs! And surely contemporary worship songs are (from a macho or at least masculine perspective) more likely to be a turnoff than chaste victorian ditties? That 'You're altogether lovely' song we sing does, frankly, seem a wee bit Jonathan-ogling-David.;-)

Also : do evangelical churches tend to be more-liable-to-be-full than other ones, or is it a case that (hence the name!) evangelical have a focus on, and talent in, evangelism, that can be exported to other churches? I agree completely that a Bishop should have a focus on evangelism, but I never knew if (for example) St.Silas has always done well *because* it's an evangelical church (and there are a lot of people who would be attracted to it, but have no interest in attending a liberal catholic place), or if you (and others) do something that lead to the growth, and that could be copied by other churches (or on a diocesan level?)? Both?

Jennifer

I'm sure anyone attracted to a same sex partner wouldn't have to declare it before taking communion. And I'm sure, even if they chose to, they'd be welcome to take it at the altar. Plus, as I understand it, same sex attraction is not a barrier to leading as a lay preacher or as a vicar, not even in St Silas.

I get the point you're trying to make, but it's not a simple as you make it. Muddying the issue can run the risk of bigotry- which is, we can agree, best avoided.

Jennifer

 ryan


By definition, isn't someone in a 'partner'[ship] operating on a level beyond 'mere' experiencing of attraction? And Jeffrey John's *celibate* partnership was the reason evangelicals (successfully) went into a strop and tried to prevent him from being elevated to the episcopate, so I sadly don't share your optimism. Although I will concede that gays aren't really among st.silas' target audience so the problem hasn't come up much (ever?).

Arguably, expecting gay people to self-identify as 'suffering' from SSA *is* dehumanising prejudice. And wouldn't being celibate but (also) gay and proud prove problematic from an evangelical minister's perspective? And straight people don't get asked questions about their sex lives at the altar - statistically,there must be oodles of unmarried hetero couples who have reams of merry sex and still receive the Blessed Sacrament. Of course, people have to make their own decisions on what behaviour is wrong and what they need to repent of - it's unfair to expect clergy to establish, Columbo style, any sexual (or other!) misbehaviours before they dish out H.C. I mean, what about masturbation?

*Innuendo edited by GV - Leave it out Ryan, please!*

GadgetVicar

We work on the basis that those taking communion repent of their sins during confession. If someone was committing a sin, and not changing their lifestyle in repentance and the leadership knew of it, whether that was stealing, gossiping or sexual sin, we would challenge them about how appropriate it was for them to receive the bread and the wine, on the basis of 1 Corinthians 11:27. We all 'suffer' as the result of sin - it's what sin does to us and God's world.

We have some (non-ordained/celibate) ministers at St Silas' who have SSA. They command much respect and love in our community. We have had people with SSA who are active sexually, and significantly, they have often respected the traditional position on such relationships and have refrained from taking communion. I've been immensely thankful for that stance. If only the heterosexual people would have such integrity! By the way, "our target audience", is...........everybody! Everyone is welcome, but not everyone is going to like what they hear (as one young man made clear to me last Saturday). It's a comforting message that ought to be uncomfortable for everybody!

It's all very well suggesting that people can make their own decisons on what is right and wrong, but surely that's a case of saying "we all do what is right in our own eyes". There's got to be a place for teaching what is acceptable and unacceptable thinking and practice for disciples of Jesus.

 ryan

>>>It's all very well suggesting that people can make their own decisons on what is right and wrong, but surely that's a case of saying "we all do what is right in our own eyes". There's got to be a place for teaching what is acceptable and unacceptable thinking and practice for disciples of Jesus

-----
Indeed, but surely - once you've proclaimed the truth from the pulpit - the responsibility shifts to individual members (i.e. if you or Nick hear about someone doing something that , unrepented of, precludes taking communion then you step in - surely there's not enough hours in the day to try and find out people's secret vices? I know examples of housegroups grassing up transgressing members to yourself, so I suppose the wider church community has a stasi style role to play ;-)).

As for "target audience" - would you be ok with (e.g.) suggesting to a sexually active gay person who wants Communion that there are plenty of other pisky churches to cater to their needs, or would such different strokes for different folks expediency smack of moral relativism? Surely, it would look worse to just say that "We" don't believe in communion-for-active-gays (but most pisky churches do!)when you're standing up for Biblical teaching?

>>We have had people with SSA who are active sexually, and significantly, they have often respected the traditional position on such relationships

Must......not......engage....in.......innuendo.... ;-)

GadgetVicar

Well....done....Ryan....;-)

Jennifer

Re- "That 'You're altogether lovely' song we sing does, frankly, seem a wee bit Jonathan-ogling-David.;-)"

The smiley-wink doesn't cover this one, sorry Ryan. But that comment seriously offends me.

I'm in my Father's house, singing that and other songs, to worship God.

(And resisting the temptation to respond to your comment in kind)

Re:I know examples of housegroups grassing up transgressing members to yourself, so I suppose the wider church community has a stasi style role to play ;-)).

Smiley-wink not taking the sting out of this one either. I am deeply offended and hurt.

Housegroup leaders make tough decisions in looking after their groups, and where they feel it necessary, seek guidance from the leadership of the church we *all* choose to submit to. Yes, fallible people do make mistakes, but "mistake" is not defined by "it doesn't please me". I've been on the receiving end of housegroup leaders acting in my best interests, which did not suit me, I did *not* appreciate it nor welcome it, but in the longer run, in this case, my personal "stasi" acted with love and the purest of motives. And in my case, they were right and I was wrong.

(Fighting the urge to retaliate still)

It's called community. Relationship with God and each other is what we're *made* for. I applaud those willing to stick their necks out to offer that structure in housegroups.

Jennifer

ryan

>>The smiley-wink doesn't cover this one, sorry Ryan. But that comment seriously offends me.

But you're female. I believe the 'Why Men Don't Go To Church' book (popular among evangelical guys - and sold in Wesley Owen!) talks about the (accidental, I concede) homoeroticism of many modern worship songs. Saying girls like girly songs is true as far as it goes, but surely it's entirely legitimate to question lyrics that might inhibit evangelising (suggesting, as they do, that Christianity per se is effeminate?).

>>>I'm in my Father's house, singing that and other songs, to worship God.

No doubt, but does that mean NO lyrics could potentially be (e.g.) theologically or aesthetically dodgy just because the people who sing (not write) them have their hearts in the right place?!

Speaking of which, what's up with that "There's no God but Jehovah" song. It reminds me of an exchange from Father Ted :

Ted(praying) : O you, who are the most forgiving of all gods..
Bishop Brennan: Of all gods?! What other gods are there Crilly?!
Ted : Er..*false* gods

>> Smiley-wink not taking the sting out of this one either. I am deeply offended and hurt

I was hardly criticising housegroup per se NOR was I suggesting that those who have done such grassing up were necessarily acting in an unChristian way. Sorry that you're deeply offended and hurt.

Jennifer

Thank you

Jennifer

m0ok

I think on the original point of the title (i.e. evangelism), Evangelical churches spend a bit too much time encouraging people to evangelise and not enough time making would-be evangelists aware of the consequences.

You should be very secure in your faith before you start trying to win people to it, I think. You guys will have to be ready to accept the real chance that you will directly cause separation of yourself from others, from friends and from loved ones if you start evangelising to them.

I think you need to be pretty sure that your faith and your relationship with God THE most important thing in your life, because trying to convert people close and dear to you to the 'true faith' - "a sword separating brother and brother" - can mean that you lose those people.

Directives from the bible and other books are all very well, but this is real life and these are the consequences of being in real relationships.

It's negligence to be exhorting people from the pulpit to go out and spread the word when they might not be able to deal with those consequences.

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