NZ’s beloved Listener generally espouses a new-age, liberal, Lloyd Geering woolly view of Christianity. This typical media ignorance is nicely punctured with this letter to the editor (not available on their site), printed in issue 3323:
Philip Matthews writes of Bishop Holloway’s Doubts and Loves making a “valuable and persuasive effort to salvage something useful from the wreckage of Christendom in decline”.
I am compelled to write that the church, far from being in decline, is growing at what liberals might consider to be an astonishing rate. Every year, more than the population of New Zealand convert to Christianity in China, not to mention the phenomenal growth throughout the rest of the world.
It would be fair to say that views held by liberal theologians do not form the basis or even the backdrop of the faith inherent in the Church. Such issues that dilute the very authenticity of Jesus are not going to lead anyone to trust in Him, let alone lead lives that recognise the authority of God the creator. God is – believe it or not – and is attested to by every sign, wonder, and miracle witnessed by people who saw Jesus in action 2000 years ago. Christianity is no dated and ridiculous religion and, far from being fossilised, gives life and the only hope to a perishing world.
Like any member of society, homosexuals have the same opportunity and right to find this life without struggling their way through drivel dressed as “multi-faceted truth”. True love demonstrates truth, not some wobbly inclusiveness at all costs. Lives are changed, not simply affirmed and made excuses for.
Life confronts us constantly with issues that need resolving. It is decidedly unhealthy to live in a state of constant uncertainty, especially in issues relating to life and death. Here lies no faith befitting any man and God does not expect it of us. The debate is in the courts of political and humanistic expediency and has nothing to do with revealed truth.
David Griffiths, Hamilton
Also published in the pink pages of the Listener, (p.10 actually, same issue under the heading Church Stands):
I can understand what all the fuss is about concerning homosexual clergy ordination in the Anglican Church (“At the cross roads“, December 20). But let us place all this in its right perspective. God does not hate homosexuals as such: just the practice of same-sex sexual intercourse. He also hates drunkenness, hatred and jealousy, to name but a few. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy; fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. And I warn you, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19). Surely it doesn’t get any clearer than that?
Having a self-confessed alcoholic ordained to the clergy would amount to the same sort of hypocrisy. imagine going along to church to be led by a drunk and to hear the word of God from his mouth. Just doesn’t seem right, does it?
Mike Healey, Hamilton.
- Ted Olsen’s weblog at ChristianityToday
- Virtuosity speaks for orthodox Anglicanism
- Catholic scholars offer their insights at first things
- Anglican scholars offer their insights here
- Episcopal innovations refuted at the Institute of Religion and Democracy
Although intellect and faith are not mutually exclusive, liberal theologians like Lloyd Geering and John Spong have descended into austere intellectualism, in their pride denying the authority of Scripture, and denying the reality of an authentic relationship with the Creator that millions of Christians enjoy.