When the Anglican Mainstream Attacks.

My post doesn’t reflect the views or represent Greenbelt in any way shape or form. I’m just wanting to chip in with my voice of support for CMS, Greenbelt and the gayification of the church. There’s also another post by ex-CofE priest Charles Raven on their website: Response to Greenbelt, ‘gay evangelicalism’ and CMS – Charles Raven (Whatever that means- rainbow robes? Disco hymns? See, I can’t be serious for too long without cutting myself down.) It’s interesting to note that the comments are closed, I guess they’re worried about their view being challenged or someone pointing out the errors in their text. I’m also thinking anyone who reads what Anglican Mainstream write will quickly realise they’re not mainstream, they’re quite fringey in their views.

I’ve been going to Greenbelt for five years now and am involved as a volunteer. I also happen to be gay. Which within Christian circles I know some people seem to have a weeny problem with (I noticed last time I wrote about being a gay Christian I got a spammy bunch of “why you’re wrong” posts without having the content of what I was writing being engaged with). I should also point out I have not now, nor ever been an Anglican. Yes, I went to a Cof E school but that doesn’t count, does it?

I get on with my relationship with God quietly, humbly you might say (but being so humble I couldn’t comment on it), but vocal minorities within the church family seem to insist on pointing at the time I spend in bed rather than the time I spend awake as a way of working out how holy/right/appropriate I am to be called part of the Church family. Bizarre, eh? I can’t even be bothered to work out what proportion of my life I’d be having sex if I had sex every day since I was sexually active.

Greenbelt is quite broad in it’s theology, it encourages discussion and I think the diversity of the speakers and the volunteer community (does it help that I can point out that gay people work for Greenbelt and volunteer with it, it’s riddled I tell you, RIDDLED!) is one of it’s greatest strengths. Gene Robinson is actually far more conservative in his theology than most Greenbelt speakers but most people can’t see beyond the fact that he’s not just gay but does something about it.

I love Greenbelt, I love it’s roots, I love it’s heritage, I love that it’s always provoke a visceral response from people, I love that even this year it’s still provoking people to talk about issues, there are moments when I wish we could shift the discussion off gayness. I agree with Dave Keen in the comments on the Church Times blog that it feels like the church needs a year off from talking about sexual politics.

I know I’m probably one voice quietly articulating a minority view but I wouldn’t be doing my job as a Christian by not speaking up.

There’s a response from CMS on the Anglican Mainstream website. (Sorry, every time I type Anglican Mainstream a little snorty laugh comes out) http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=12906

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2 Responses to When the Anglican Mainstream Attacks.

  1. One thing that really struck me about the Anglican Mainstream thing is the implication that this was a new move on Greenbelt’s part. As if until this year Greenbelt has been a nice, safe conservative event and then all of a sudden….

    (and of course there’s also the fact that recent years have seen people like Philip Yancey, Steve Chalke and others given a platform at GB, but asking them cover that would be too much like asking for balance…)

    • Ben W says:

      That’s what appeals to me about Greenbelt, it’s never been cosy, it’s always sought to embrace the whole church family, to reach parts that other festivals don’t and bring in all sorts of people from all parts of theological spectrum (and reading the lovely 30 year book confirms this).

      I love that they don’t talk about the people on this year’s programme who represent the more conservative end of the spectrum. We had Joel Edwards last year and he was fantastic. There was a lovely moment on stage where you could see he relaxed into the talk and realised he was among friends.

      I also get a wee bit angry that they attack Paula Gooder. She’s too lovely and thoughtful to be attacked. She gave an excellent talk last year about how to read the bible and was very witty in the kitchen when talking about Biblical Authenticity. We shared a couple of naughty jokes as I was mic-ing her up and for that she became one of my favourite people.

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