RADICAL INCLUSION .UK
please do not erase our lives, our love, and precious parts of who we are
'Life shrinks or expands, in proportion to one's courage'
TOP DOWN CONTROL OF THE AGENDA
We have a situation where half (and possibly more) of the Church disagrees with the imposed doctrine condemning gay sexuality. Change is badly needed because conscience is being over-ruled and harm being done.
What is the problem? Why can't things be resolved?
Nobody will initiate change.
Does that mean the crisis is being ignored?
Not at all. It's being 'handled' by those at the top of the Church.
What are they doing?
Establishing 'process' and then controlling it.
To what end?
Hard to be sure what ends the Archbishop is pursuing. But the ends - in terms of actual effects - are postponement of decision and continued enforcement of the status quo for an indefinite period into the future.
How is the status quo enforced?
By threat of sanctions or loss of ministry.
Are there reasons why the leadership at the top of the Church would want to avoid decisions on doctrinal change?
Yes - see here.
What shape and form has this 'process' taken?
Well there have been a succession of initiatives that have delayed things including the Anglican Covenant, the Pilling report, the Shared Conversations, and Living in Love and Faith. Now we are told there should be a further year or two to reflect on those resoiurces. Each time, the pretext is to help the Church in the midst of this disagreement and to learn. But the outcome again and again has been to defer any decision.
So the process itself is an instrument of control?
It provides grounds for expenditure of further time, while avoiding change in doctrine. Avoiding change in doctrine works in favour of one faction of the Church of England: a faction and a theology the Archbishop seems to favour.
So even to participate in these processes risks contributing to the Archbishop's own agenda?
Possibly. It's good to participate in the Church's initiatives, but the top down route shows few signs of implementing doctrinal change.
So if the status quo (supported by one part of the Church) has been perpetuated top-down by the Church leadership, does that other group in the Church - who affirn gay sexuality - have a way to create a counter-narrative?
That's the thing. If doctrine is kept conservative from the top-down, then the reality of diversity in the Church needs to take on a different route, from the grassroots up.
Who are the grassroots?
All those local churches, up and down the land, who are actually doing the mission and living the faith on the front-line of communities. Their views and opinions have been largely over-ruled on sexuality. Yet they themselves are the Church.
If change won't come from the top down, it needs to come from the grassroots up. A new 'de facto' reality may have to be established in the Church, that asserts and lives out conscience, instead of having conscience over-ruled and dominated from the top.
So it hinges on conscience?
Yes. And courage. It needs hundreds of Rosa Parkes. Thousands and thousands if you count up all the people in the local church communities and their PCCs. But most of all it needs a simple sense of decency and refusal to uphold a harmful doctrine any longer.
Two parallel sites have been created:
radicalinclusion.uk - the site you are visiting right now - is the 'quick read' version if you are in a hurry
radicalinclusion.co.uk is the in-depth site for reading more deeply on any section and to reflect further
~ click on any of the links below for more detailed versions of the pages available here in quick-read form: