Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rowan Williams: Why Pray?


Pageantmaster said...

Why bother?

Unknown said...

I know it can be discouraging sometimes, but prayer can break through even the toughest exteriors - and some times the toughest exteriors of all are our own.


Anonymous said...

Why do you post anything Williams says? Hasn't he done enough damage on his own?

Unknown said...

I guess because he is the Archbishop of Canterbury and a brother in Christ.


Anonymous said...

Again, we see examples of the fact that, for some people, the Archbishop could not recite the morning weather forecast without it unleashing hostile commentary. The posted clip seemed well thought out and meaningful, particularly as we move toward the end of Lent. Thanks to BB for posting it up.


Anonymous said...

bb, Rowan's incumbency as ABC produces authority for his statements only if he has earned the right to have his statements taken seriously. At this point it should be clear to all that Rowan is a rigid revisionist. It don't think it is going too far to say that all his actions since 2003 have been elaborate dissembling to prevent the Communion from disciplining TEC. As a result, TEC's dysfunctions are spreading within the Communion.

Rowan has been a complete, unmitigated disaster for the orthodox in the States, in the Communion, and increasingly in the UK. Don't take my word for it: look at what Pageantmaster has to say on T19 about Rowan's appointments as Bishops in the UK.

Rowan is utterly discredited as a Christian leader. Only God knows (we cannot) if Rowan is even a Christian brother. For me, Rowan now has no more spiritual authority than the Borgia popes did during the Renaissance based on the fact that they occupied the office of Pope.

Scout's comments are misplaced. Rowan is not giving a neutral weather report, but is presuming to instruct Christians in prayer. In light of the devastation Rowan has caused to the Body of Christ, he has lost authority to teach. At this point, consulting Rowan about Christianity is like consulting Caiaphas about how to be a good Jew.

Unknown said...

No, no, no, no, no, Anon. No. No. I totally disagree. Rowan Williams in the Archbishop of Canterbury and his office requires respect. Period.

Before we point out the specs in others eyes, let us first address the logs in our own. No, it is audacious of any of us to claim we know the heart of another. We can wholeheartedly address actions - specific actions, but if we do this, it must be in a spirit of humility, with charity - as ones who know deeply our own faults and appreciates sincerely the amazing work of Christ on the cross to rescue us from our own sins. I can make a list of the disasters of leadership from the orthodox - and they are disasters that wound the Body of Christ. What is amazing, however, what the real story is on all sides is the evidence of God's mercy through Jesus Christ, risen from the dead as we will celebrate this coming Sunday - He is merciful, to Peter, the Rock who ran, to Thomas, who did not flinch from asking the hard questions, to Saul, who once held the coats of the murderers of dear kind Stephen. And yes, he is merciful to us, sinners - shall not extend mercy to our brothers and sisters as well? It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance.

There is nothing, no nothing objectionable in this video of Rowan Williams call for prayer. Why do not we not celebrate it and stand watch in prayer? Should we not think for a second that while we point out the huge failings - and they are failings, in the Church of England, that we should be blind to our own.

No - Rowan has not lost the authority to teach unless we have lost heart to pray and earnestly seek the face of God to have mercy and intercede in prayer for him, for his family, for those who cross his path, those planned and those who may be a surprise.

If we ask for judgement, then we too shall be judged. Is that what we want? I think not.

Who can know the moment when any of us are called to make an account? Shall we then examine our own hearts at this late hour and not find our ourselves wanting?

We are called to pray - pray without ceasing. And what we so often find is that while our adversary or those who are lost in the darkness of fear, of pain, of suffering, of loss, of disappointment, of pride may continue to struggle and flee, what we also find is that we are there with them as well, sinners. It is not that we are right or good for we are not, it is that Jesus is risen and redeems.

Rowan is not giving a neutral weather report, hardly - I agree with that. He is sharing his own heart that our rescue comes in a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and He alone can sooth the wounded soul. Oh, there are so many wounded and more are wounded every day in a war of words and litigation. We are called not to have war of words, but to bind up the brokenhearted.

Rowan is a Christian brother and if that is called into question, shall we not look at our own hearts first?


Unknown said...

Thank you BB for your thoughtful repudiation of some of the hateful comments above. I am particularly drawn to your statement. "Who can know the moment when any of us are called to make an account? Shall we then examine our own hearts at this late hour and not find our ourselves wanting?"

I call on all to pray for healing as we enter yet another phase of the trial next week.

Anonymous said...

bb, I agree that we cannot judge anybody's relationship with God. Only God, who sees into human hearts and knows our true beliefs and motives, can do that. My posts critical of Rowan acknowledged that, and to the extent they didn't you are right.

Your post acknowledges that we may judge specific actions. My criticism of Rowan tries to do just that. While I admit my own (many) sins, I also am not the ABC. I can and do respect that office, and it is no disrespect to the office of ABC to say that Rowan has dishonored it. I do not think that it is going too far to say that Rowan's actions have eliminated the office of ABC's ability to function as a focus of unity, at least until he leaves it.

There is no limiting principle to your point that, because there is nothing objectionable in the film clip, it should be publicized. By that logic, statements by the Presiding Bishop or Bp. Spong are eligible for publication by orthodox Christians. I think that the Bible is clear that we ought to avoid false teachers. That is not to say that we are in any position to say whether anybody is a Christian; to be clear, I repeat that only the Lord has sufficient knowledge and authority for that action.

Bill's comment is misplaced. By dismissing my comments as "hateful" Bill attempts to silence them without refuting them. This conveniently (for Bill) avoids the need to address whether the criticism is true or false.

bb, a better argument is to acknowledge Rowan's catastrophic actions and to then argue that, notwithstanding those actions, we should forgive him. Surely Christ forgives us over and over again; we certainly don't deserve any forgiveness. Your comments almost say that but not quite.

Before there can be forgiveness, a sinner must admit (a) what he did, and (b) that it was wrong. Your post about Rowan goes right to forgiveness while skipping (a) and (b). I don't think that will work.

Anonymous said...

Re the last para of Anon 1642: I realise that the Archbishop is not giving the weather report. My point is that I am quite certain that if he were to pick up today's Telegraph and read the report verbatim, people like Anon 1642 would positively fulminate over his reading as indicia of apostasy. Note that Anon's comment even questions whether the Archbishop is a Christian.


Observer said...

BB - I can understand why many have lost confidence in this man ..... if someone has many times supported false teaching (eg ignoring the Windsor Report and keeping false teachers in the councils of the AC as the ABC has done with KJS at the cost of the AC splitting since 2008), it does become hard to trust him...even when he says something correct....because he cannot be split into orthodox and revisionist bits.....and remember he stands by his own revisionist writings....and his actions in favour of the revisionist leadership of TEC have shown that too. Not sure the bible tells us to respect someone just because they have a position in the is what they teach and do which will earn respect and trust....or not.