WE’RE ALL CONNECTED: some musings

I mentioned in a previous post that the Sahara harmattan dust is affecting us here, and how it is a reminder that we’re all connected.  And that is of course true of the church – maybe, especially true of the church, because of our claim to be ‘one’. 

However, this belief has come home to roost, with the advent of gay weddings and all the associated ballyhoo.

We’ve all been so obsessed – well, OK, the media is obsessed – with the Anglican church in this country and its reaction to gay marriage, that we frequently lose sight of our ‘oneness’ and its meaning.  What happens in one part of the church, affects the rest worldwide.

When I talk about the Anglican church, I’m not talking just about the million-odd in this little island of ours.  There are roughly 77 million Anglicans world-wide, which makes us here in Britain a very tiny part of that.  And we have to listen to the rest of ‘the body’, instead of just listening to ourselves here and to the people immediately around us.

The law approving gay marriage has had very far-reaching effects.  As Archbishop Justin has said this week, he has very recently visited a mass grave in southern Sudan where 369 Christians are buried.

They had been killed by local people, who believe that being a Christian encourages homosexuality which is illegal in their country.  They connect Christianity with us in the west, and what we do.

Here in UK we are astonished and appalled at this ignorance.  Nonetheless, this is  happening.  What we decide here affects fellow Christians throughout the world.  Our decisions can put them in danger of their lives.  They look at us, and believe that we are a ‘Christian’ country, and that being English means we are automatically cultural Christians and we are approving something which appals and disgusts them.

At the same time, gay people here have been discriminated against for far too long, and have suffered too.

Sometimes the answers are not simple. 

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20 thoughts on “WE’RE ALL CONNECTED: some musings

  1. It sometimes seems there is no right answer to a problem…unless we can move to another level… if civil partnership is available some might feel satisfied with that.Alas it’s hard to remember we are all part of the whole world.Ironical too when many heterosexual couples do not bother to get married or feel it’s a sign of women being unliberated.I saw on an American website.”Every human being has the right to get married.Rights seem to grow weekly…hope some answer may be found as we also should not tolerate gay people being attacked in eg Uganda…What a tough world we live in ….

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    1. Ethics are very complex indeed. They are complex for us in our culture, particularly now we are so individualistic and believe that each person should be allowed to make up the rules for themselves. And they are trebly complex in another culture, where there are wholly different expectations and priorities. Even within genuine Christianity, there will always be things we can’t and won’t agree on.

      I would be much more impressed, if Christian gay couples here decided to sacrifice the possibility of a church wedding, for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Africa. How can it be right to get ‘my rights’ at the expense of someone else’s life? In the Christian life, ‘rights’ are what we give up, like Jesus did. We only have privileges. And St Paul says that we should not do what we consider ourselves at liberty to do, if it will cause a fellow believer to stumble.

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      1. Well,slept better abd avoiding town for now… it’s so painful for me to walk especially carrying heavy bags… plus the phone at home being off the hook….my husband is not very practical even with landlines!Still i was lucky not to be in the accident.The road plan in the centre is a terrible mistake and there’ve been quite a few accidents mainly people getting confused/jumping the lights.Speed is all

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  2. I am very shocked to read of the murders that have taken place in Sudan. It is a sad reminder of the great differences in culture across the world and how we can affect the lives of others with our decisions.

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    1. Yes, though not as big as the Catholics, Orthodox or pentecostals – and the way forward is to work with them in as much unity as possible. An excellent example this morning was our Archbishop and Cardinal Vincent Nicholls being interviewed as a duo on the radio. It was great to hear how much at one they are on attitudes to social need, and both our denominations get down and do stuff where it’s needed. But we’d be even more effective at meeting needs if we worked more together. Let’s hope that day is nearer now.

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  3. Yes this is a very difficult old business – the different cultural opinions all over the world etc…. Must be terrifying for the Christians in places where you can be killed for your sexuality….

    As you say.. nothing is simple :no: Oh dear…..

    Good post Gilly. Heard on the radio about the repercussions for Christians throughout the world. :no:

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  4. Most people in farther-away parts of the world do not make (or even realize) the distinction between “denominations” of Christians. To the majority of the world, Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptists, Orthodox, Methodist even Roman Catholics & Byzantine are all lumped together in the “Christian” pot. Which isn’t a bad pot to be lumped into. We do it with other faiths. We do not distinguish Moslems for excample.

    This is one of the reasons thinking things through is so complicated. It is not just our faith, our religious beliefs, but often our political beliefs as well.

    This age of mass and instant communication has many benefits. But the complications are also becoming evident.

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    1. I go along with all that, Marian. And I would add that most people in this country don’t know the difference between the denominations, either. Another facet, which I decided not to include, is that the biggest ‘orthodox’ Christian denominations, the Catholics and the Orthodox themselves, will never budge on this subject of marriage. So if we go ahead with recognising gay marriage, we will be cutting ourselves off even further from them – to add to the already-heated debate about women priests, etc. What our Orthodox Archbishop in Romania gently called our ‘avant-garde ideas’ … 🙄

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  5. A wonderful post Gilly and so very true, the answers are not simple and do need to be thought through very carefully. How dreadful to be killed for your sexuality…
    Yes, we are all interconnected, no doubt about it. Much to think about here…xxx

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