AFFIRM recognizes that there is a strong desire for change to allow people in life long committed Gay relationships to be ordained. While we cannot agree with this we would encourage those who seek this change to set up their own structure including being able to retain their buildings. Our concern is not to block the revisionist approach. Justice demands that no one be forced to act against their conscience. This cuts both ways. Hence our desire to see that those who seek change are given the freedom to do so without forcing others to comply.
AFFIRM held a number of meetings about possible structures culminating in a meeting in Christchurch where all of the comments and findings were presented and then preferences agreed upon. The clear preferences for all the meetings is that we would stay as we are and not go ahead with the recommendations of the "A Way Forward" report. If however this does not happen the following are our offers to the new Commission.
Former NZCMS National Director Rev Michael Lawrence writes:
A Long Look Back...
Two important issues regarding family life in Aotearoa New Zealand arise out of Motion 30, and the “A Way Forward”, “He Anga Whakamua”, “Na Sala ki Liu” Working Group Report. Firstly, the re-definition of marriage and secondly, and consequentially, the birth or the adoption of children into a same-sex marriage.
"The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward” is a statement attributed to Winston Churchill and it is an appropriate guideline as the Anglican Church steps into the future.
ACNS, by Gavin Drake
The provincial synod of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has voted against the introduction of blessing services for same-sex marriages. The motion, from the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, required a simple majority in all three houses of the synod (laity, clergy and bishops) along with an overall two-thirds majority of the whole synod. But it was rejected in all three houses and failed to get anywhere near the two-thirds overall majority.
1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.
2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.
3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.
In the latest issue of Latimer Focus, the magazine of the Latimer Fellowship (an Affiliate of AFFIRM), Michael Hewit (former Executive Officer of AFFIRM) has written an article about the recent past and current experience of what was the West Hamilton Parish.
The article can be found at http://www.latimer.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Issue-36-West-Hamilton-pari....
By Philip Jenkins
I have been writing about mainstream and fringe scholarship, and defending the sometimes unpopular idea of mainstream orthodoxy, or the scholarly consensus.
Blogging on any religious topic invites wacky comments and responses. As one example of many, I had a commenter not long ago who asserted that most of what Christians believed about their origins was utterly wrong. Way back in the third century BC, he said, the cult of the Egyptian god Serapis prefigured most features of Christianity, including the name: even at that very early date, his followers were allegedly called “Christians.” Christianity, in fact, was a myth built on that older Egyptian religion. That whole Serapis/Christ nonsense is widespread around the Internet, with quite a few Youtube contributions. Just Google “Christos Ptolemy Serapis” and see how many rabbit holes you vanish into. In some manifestations, not all, it gets into weird Afrocentric and anti-Jewish mythologies.
I challenged the original poster by asking how many real books or sources he could cite to support this idea, not counting self-published stuff, and answer came there none. These days, you can find that information quite easily from Amazon, besides library catalogues and journal databases. My argument was simple. An idea or theory does not deserve to be taken seriously unless and until it acquires at least some coverage by accredited experts in the field. That might take the form of published books with major presses, whether trade or academic, or in reputable academic journals.
Scholarship is what scholars do, and if they don’t do it, it’s not scholarship.
For the complete article go to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2015/05/outliers-and-iconoclasts
The one thing that all would agree on is that Christmas is a time of celebration. Celebrate the end of another year at work, another year at school, another year at study. Christmas parties are happening everywhere. And Christians agree. We may celebrate for different reasons and we may celebrate in a different way but celebration is part and parcel of what we do as the people of God. This year is a special one for us. It is the Bicentenary of the first Christian sermon preached in New Zealand.
Some of you will be aware that a group of people have asked the Judicial Committee of General Synod for a formal explanation of Clause 4 of Motion 30 passed by General Synod this year. The Motion came as a response to the report of the Ma Whea? Commission set up to see if we could find a way forward with the vexed question of whether people in committed same sex relationships can be ordained. We are deeply divided on this issue and the divisions have not yielded to debate. The aim of Motion 30 was to see if there is a possible way for us to remain together despite the deep differences between us. At the same time it clearly puts forward a pathway to change. A working group has been set up to do the work outlined in the Motion and report to General Synod in 2016.