Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book .  Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:

Do justice

A series of essays in the Episcopal Church

WWJD About Concensus?

WWJD About Concensus?

By The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton

When Jesus challenged the Jewish establishment he did not wait for a 'consensus' to develop on the Jewish Council - from folk like Joseph of Aramathea, for instance - he continued to proclaim God's truth.

Taking Paul's word (who was present in Jerusalem, and not Luke's, who wasn't) there was no consensus between Paul and the Jewish Christians about whether circumcision was a prerequisite for males to become Christians.

When the bishops met at Nicea they numbered 318 out of the approximately 1800 bishops of the undivided Church. While some of the other bishops probably supported them the evidence is strong that the majority of bishops did not: they were Arian, not what we now call Nicean. Not even majoritarianism was in play at Nicea, let alone consensus.

When the Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, etc. etc) objected to some of the more heinous aspects of Roman theology they hardly represented the majority - let alone a consensus - within the Roman Church.

When the Episcopal Church ordained women it did not do so as the result of consensus within the Anglican Communion (despite the fiction of the Windsor Report on this topic).

When the Archbishop of Canterbury's own province decided to ordain women as priests (and when it makes a similar decision about the episcopate) it did so and will do so in the absence of consensus within the Communion.

So for the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for consensus on the topic of the consecration of a gay man or lesbian women in a committed, lifelong relationship he is going against all of the history of the Church with regard to consensus.

In other words, using_consensus_as_the_yardstick, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is standing against Jesus, Paul, the Council of Nicea, the Reformation, and his own province.

If he were a President we'd impeach him!



"I pray that none will be offended if I seek to make the Christian religion an inn where all are received joyously, rather than a cottage where some few friends of the family are to be received." -- attrib. Richard Hooker (1554-1600)
Nigel J. Taber-Hamilton, Rector Clergy Alt GC '06
St. Augustine's-in-the-woods Episcopal Church on beautiful Whidbey Island, WA.
"Do come and see us sometime." =
The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
"The Episcopal Church in Western Washington"

You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.


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