Venables on shaky ground.

Archbishop Venables of the Southern Cone is quoted in the Living Church as saying, “We will have no problem ceasing interventions once we see repentance and a return to biblical principles.”

This is a shaky moral stance: "We will stop doing x (which the Archbishop considers a "secondary" issue) when you stop doing y (which he considers a primary issue.) What if he is wrong in what is primary and secondary, or deluding himself?

Let's try this out: We will stop beating you when you stop talking back to your father. (Secondary issue: when is beating with a cane OK; primary issue the commandment about honoring your father and your mother.) This is the Archbishop Akinola moral example.

Or this: We will stop calling you worse than dogs and criminal when you say you are sorry you ever engaged in homosexual acts and get married to a person of the opposite sex. (secondary: insult; primary, biblical principle as defined by the accuser) An Akinola example again.

Or this: I will stop breaking my vows made as a bishop to tend my own flock when you stop fulfilling your vows as a bishop to bless in yours.

I don't get it.

Bishop Venables has a a facile moral mind. But it breaks down rather badly.


  1. "My bad behavior is justified by your bad behavior."

    That has no basis in sound ethical or moral thinking, at least to my mind. Nor does it strike me as at all following in the way of Christ...


  2. I like your last example the best:) It is peculiar, but when one thinks they have all the answers I suppose expected.

  3. (Dan)
    Gee, Mark. I guess you never disciplined your children. Never told them that if they disobeyed curfew or drank or smoked or whatever you proscribed, they would lose TV or not get dessert, or God forbid, a swat on the butt. TEC is an unruly and defiant child. It understandable resents discipline, choosing instead to trivialize its own actions. Ain't gonna work. What is it you want to tell AB Venables. Stop providing pastoral care to disaffected Episcopalians so we can continue doing exactly what it is you and the other primates have asked us not to do. Don't take away the car keys Dad! How else can I drive my teen firends to the liquor store and buy beer for the party? After all, I am old enough to make my own decisions! How dare you tell me what is the primary or the secondary issue here!

  4. What do you mean, "What if..."?

  5. Dan. Your guess is wrong. BTW the concern is not (for me) about what is a primary and what is a secondary issue. The issues are different. If I promised I would not go in your room with out asking or at least telling you I was going to do so and then did, I would be breaking a vow. That you might be doing something there that I thought was wrong is a different issue.

    It may be that violation of someones space is justified, but the case has to be made. And I don't believe the Archbishop makes it.

  6. Dan, if PECSUA is "an unruly and defiant child," the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone is most certainly not our father. For that matter, neither are any of the other Primates of the Anglican Communion.

  7. Reasserters have my total sympathy, but Venables, et al should lead for reform rather than usurp by hostile takeover. I want this Church to stay together, and that means that the hard-headed impetuous leaders on both sides should be given the boot.

    At the same time TEC's leadership needs to see that all isn't well and make better room for what clearly is NOT just "a few" who don't want to be with "us" (to recall the PB's dismissal of reasserters' concerns). When our denominational ASA is a little less that 800,000 you cannot afford to lose/dismiss a number amounting to about 10% of that and keep choking on the words "All is well"...full speed ahead with the status quo.

  8. I keep saying it and fundies like Dan and the archbishop keep proving it:

    The basic requirement to be a fundamentalist / evangelical/ reasserter / 'orthodox' is the ability to rationalize anything no matter how illogical.

    So suddenly, it is the majority that counts, never mind that Paul and Jesus both were clearly in the minority. Count how many Anglicans have lunatic bishops (start with all of Nigeria I think) and if the number is big, the argument is over.



  9. It all reminds me of frequent issues in marriage counseling:

    The husband beats his wife and says, "It's not my fault! She made me do it because she went on doing x, y or z."

    "It's not our fault: you all and Bishop Robinson made us do it!"

    Nobody "made"anyone do anything. Whatever was done was a free choice by everyone concerned.

  10. I have never understood the objections of the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC against Venebles and the rest -- which now make up quite a number of Anglican primates. What's wrong with what he is doing? We have a group of people who believe they are without a church home (and have excellent reason to believe so). Why not provide them with one? What in the world is so evil about that? Why would you begrudge them one?

    TEC and ACofC seem to believe they own their countries or the people who have attended their churches. They don't. TEC is certainly not a state church. I don't know whether ACofC is one or not, but other churches are allowed in Canada nonetheless. And the people are free to follow whomever they would and worship wherever they will.

    I believe you will find that the conservative Anglicans have approached Venebles et al. for leadership and support, and not the other way around.

    If the leadership of TEC and ACofC were sensible, they'd find a way to make an appeal to the disaffected people leaving, not attempt to limit their options and force them into submission via litigation.

    However, clericalism is deeply entrenched, making it nearly impossible to acknowledge that there are disaffected laity who are concerned, unhappy, and leaving. Instead, let's blame it all on an Archbishop or a Primate, and ignore the thousands of people who called them and look to them.

  11. The chair of the English Chaplaincy in Southern South America will never meet with the Primate of Canada or the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

    Criticizing another person to their face takes courage and integrity. Mr. Venables has neither.

    His complete lack of character was demonstrated when he commited himself at Dromantine not to insinuate himself into the internal affairs of other provinces, and then flew immediately to Canada to do precisely that.

    It has been frequently noted that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, but very, very much about hypocrisy.

    Mr. Venables would do well to ponder that.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.