Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lambeth sees AMIE less as friend than foe

Lambeth Palace has issued this statement about AMiE, which suggests the powers that be are distinctly pissed off. I am a little concerned that a teensy part of me is thinking "serves you right"; in spite of the glacial tone of the piece there is still an implicit pleading and pandering in the comments about how the good intentions to work within the existing structures are "welcome". The Church of England has gone down the path of appeasing those who have never had any intention of compromise. Lambeth does  not seem to have learnt the lesson that if you will tiptoe cautiously around pandering to the bullies, you shouldn't be surprised when they reward you by turning up in your back yard brandishing a crowbar.


  1. Couldn't agree more, Sue. Talk about mixed messages in that statement. The whole affair is appalling and Lambeth shpuld say so a lot more clearly than that.

  2. There is only one way to beat these fundamentalist bullies. Close down the Church of England.

  3. The real problem for some of our enthusiastic brethren, eager to share the good news of the Gospel, is that they have aligned themselves with a ‘catholic and apostolic church’ – they have accepted the idea that when the Church was established there was a contingent hierarchy and duty of obedience on all within that hierarchy. At the Reformation, the nascent Church of England experimented (or had imposed via the Puritans (aka the Taliban)) different understandings of the idea of a ‘catholic and apostolic Church’ but decided, after a century or so of turmoil, to favour a hierarchical structure, with bishops and priests.

    This means that if you want to be a member of the Church of England – and particularly if you want to minister in the confines of her jurisdiction, then you have to play by the rules. The whole issue of some African ordained chappies coming to England to spread the good news of THEIR version of the Gospel, on their terms and then expecting the Anglican authorities to walk to heel is rather ludicrous. It demonstrates the unbelievable arrogance of these people – and moreover just how unwilling they are to listen to any voice but their own. Not mention the arrogance of those in the UK who have worked behind the scenes to set up this foolish journey into the ridiculous.

    Just as an aside, in an e-mail to an Evangelical priest friend of mine, asking for any academic studies he may have encountered on African Christianity, as many of the front line staff in one of the faith-based organisations that I am researching are African immigrants and ‘devout’ Christians. Tho’ as I noted what constitutes ‘devout’ in their book seems to be an over emphasis on outward appearance, a firm and unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality, while at the same time turning a blind eye to corruption, lies, marital infidelity and financial irregularities. My friend, who had, via CMS, worked as a missionary in Kenya responded thus: ‘Your observations re the public/private [divide in African Christianity] resonate with our experience in Kenya.’ – and it is interesting to note, he now describes himself as a ‘liberal’ Evangelical since his stay in Africa and is extremely sceptical of the benefits of British and American conservative Anglicans aligning themselves with African churches – particularly from his own experience of ministry in Kenya and Nigeria.

    So for my part, I think our devout Kenyan friends would be better dealing the problems at home, before thinking they are in a position to convert anyone or anywhere... As well as realising that if you are going to be part of a church, you have to live by its rules and not make up your own because it suits!