Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Dr Richard Condie, fundamentalist Bishop of Tasmania …

*Pic: Image from HERE: From left, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, Primate of Uganda, Dr Richard Condie, and Archbishop Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney

At a time when religious leaders of all faiths are increasingly held to account for their beliefs and those of their followers, the views of the new Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Dr Richard Condie, will be of interest to both his flock and the wider community.

Dr Condie is a fundamentalist Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin. He heads a national organisation dedicated to promoting orthodoxy, one that is poised to confront any bishop or other church leader who might stray from this doctrinal stand.

Most recently Archdeacon of Melbourne and Vicar of St Jude’s Anglican Church in Carlton, Dr Condie was among 500 Anglicans throughout Australia and New Zealand who met in Melbourne for three days in March last year. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Australia (FCA) was launched at this conference, with Dr Condie as chairman.

As reported in Eternity (26/3/15), published by the Bible Society, Australia, Dr Condie said that the FCA “is a fellowship of Anglicans who particularly subscribe to, who confess a particular statement of faith: the Jerusalem Declaration.”

The Jerusalem Declaration reflects contemporary ultra-orthodox Anglicanism, and resulted from the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Jerusalem in June 2008. A total of 1148 bishops, clergy and laity from around the globe attended it.

Among the delegates were 291 bishops, including then Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, who boycotted the official 2008 Lambeth Conference in England. Lambeth is hosted once a decade by the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The split arose over “false gospel,” and in particular, homosexuality.

In 2003, the Anglican Episcopal Church in the United States consecrated openly gay Gene Robinson as a bishop. His consecration ultimately led to the Jerusalem conference, the launch of the GAFCON movement and the establishment of the international Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans to combat “the forces of militant secularism and pluralism.”

The preamble to the Jerusalem Declaration, to which Dr Condie adheres, states that Jesus is “humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell.”

The Declaration includes “the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman,” marriage being “the proper place for sexual intimacy,” “abstinence for those who are not married” and rejection of “the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word and deed.”

The deniers “claim that all religious offer equal access to God and that Jesus is only a way, not the way.” This false gospel “promotes a variety of sexual preferences and immoral behaviour as a universal human right. It claims God’s blessing for same-sex unions over against the biblical teaching on holy matrimony.”

The chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, attended the Melbourne launch of FCA Australia and addressed the conference.

In the Eternity report about the conference, Dr Condie said the aim of the FCA was to “promote orthodox Anglican theology and practice in the Anglican Church of Australia.” In England, New Zealand and the United States “we have seen an accommodation of the gospel message, especially around issues of sexuality.

“There is an erosion of confidence in the truth of the Bible that has led to an erosion of teaching about sexuality, the uniqueness of Christ, the resurrection, about abortion, euthanasia, and all kinds of things, such that this is not recognisable as historic biblical Christianity.

“Many of us fear that a crisis is coming in the Australian Anglican Church, where one of our leaders – one of our Bishops – will step outside the bounds of orthodoxy.”

For Dr Condie, sexuality and the role of homosexual people in the leadership of the church is the presenting issue of the day.

“That is probably the area we’re going to fall over on,” he said. “And at that moment it’s going to be very hard for an orthodox Anglican who believes in the Bible to accept the authority of their bishop when they teach that something that the Bible calls sin is not sin.

“I would much rather go to the wall over the resurrection or over the uniqueness of Christ than I would over sexuality, but that happens to be the issue of our day.”

Dr Condie said Anglicans had always been Bible people and the aim of the FCA was to be proactive in creating discussion around orthodox doctrine.

“And then it is there, as an emergency organisation, to swing into action to try and help people if and when something happens that is contrary to God’s word.”

*Margaretta Pos is a freelance journalist and author. Her biography of colonial pioneer Elizabeth Fenton, Mrs Fenton’s Journey: India and Tasmania 1826 to 1876 is available in Tasmanian bookshops, at Gleebooks and Pages&Pages in Sydney, and Hill of Content in Melbourne. Her next book, Shadows in Suriname, will be published later this year.

• Chris Sharples in Comments: Religion has served a useful – arguably essential – purpose over the 50,000 years or so since humanity’s evolution of a high degree of self-consciousness gave us awareness our own mortality and resulted in the existential horror which accompanies that awareness. This literally forced us to create a cultural coping mechanism – religious belief – without which we undoubtedly would have been the first species to go extinct through collective clinical depression. However after millennia of cultural evolution we now have the intellectual, philosophical and emotional tools to face the reality of our mortality without self-deception, and to live authentically without blind faith or mystery-mongering. Which is rather fortunate, given that the blindness and bigotry which so often accompanies religious belief is now the deepest, most ingrained stumbling block in our quest to build a better, more inclusive, fair and open society in which all people can flourish regardless of their race, sexual orientation or other differences.

• Dr Buck Emberg in Comments: … However, it has been increasingly discomforting to witness an inexhorrible (spelling: mine) drift to the right…and the drift became a river and then a flood. The present drive to fundamentalism and philosophical/theological/social conservatism, is not only non-Anglican…it is suicide. I predict the Anglicans, if they continue on this path will rest in pieces. When I was handed a meaningless chocolate Easter bunny egg after Easter services I knew the Anglican Church had come to its own, nicely built, cul de sac and was merely going around in circles…aimless, like eyeless Sampson in Gaza. …

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Chris Sharples

    August 23, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    #17 Buck you sound like you think nobody has answers to those questions. Actually I think we have a good idea of their answers if you set aside the confusion of religious thinking.

    I doubt there was any religion before 70,000 years ago. Why would there have been? It was only around 70,000 years ago (I will not take time to explain) that we evolved sufficient self-conscious awareness to feel the need to invent it (see my comment at #2 above).

    Regarding your second comment, the Earth is about 5 billion years old but the Universe as we know it is about 13.5 billion years old. Astronomers are starting to understand quite a lot about how the universe evolved to the point that planets like Earth could form. As far as the origin of the Universe as a whole goes, asking “what came before that” is deeply misleading, because ‘time’ as we know it is itself an emergent property of the Universe – it makes no sense to ask what was “before” it in a temporal sense. Of course, we can ask “HOW did the universe emerge 13.5 billion years ago” and “What logically (but not temporally) preceded it?”. And I do think we are starting to have some good scientific insights into those very questions – which contrary to popular misconceptions are not unanswerable or “beyond rational inquiry”. For more on this see my TT essay “Order emerges out of Chaos” at http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/category-article/193

    and,

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/Order-emerges-out-of-Chaos-the-fundamental/

  2. Dr Buck Emberg

    August 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    It is fairly well documented (I will not take the time to explain) that religion, as such, is no older than 70,000 years That makes 150,000 years or so before that….as the time Homo sapiens began to complete his/her dominaton of all other species. Where was religion before that? If we live on an orb that is 5-6 BILLION years old or thereabouts…what existed before that? Come on you guys…be scientific and not otherworldly!

  3. Jim van Ommen

    August 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Chris,
    I was about to reply to your comment and then saw your contribution in ” Chris Sharples in comment “.
    Now I know where you’re coming from and vice versa, we could both say we’re missing the point and so we cannot even have the “satisfaction” of point scoring. Nevertheless, let’s agree to disagree.
    Have a good day,
    Jim.

  4. Chris Sharples

    August 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    #13, #14 Methinks you may have missed the point of the original item, just a wee bit!

  5. Jim van Ommen

    August 22, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    When it comes to tolerance and intolerance, who else can we model our Christ-likeness on than on Christ himself.
    Yes he does give a few examples:
    John 8:11 . …”neither do I condemn you…” Most of us would be very reluctant to condemn somebody especially after a confrontation exposing our own sin.
    Christ forgave because of His ultimate tolerance, out of love and compassion and because He has the power to forgive as well as to heal.

    Rev. 2:1-26 among others…….” Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” .

    We sure have a long way to go !

  6. Jim van Ommen

    August 20, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Christ is made the sure foundation,
    Christ, our head and cornerstone,
    chosen of the Lord and precious,
    binding all the Church in one;
    holy Zion’s help forever,
    and our confidence alone.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Praise the Lord for Richard Condie and all of us
    who build on this foundation.

  7. A.K.

    April 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Just amazes me how anyone can still believe in this primitive rubbish and be allowed to rip off and abuse our societies, without any form of retribution.

    Why aren’t they tried for child abuse and fraud, why aren’t they held to account for the thousands of years of slaughter, torture and never ending abuse of women and children around the planet.

    Why do they not pay taxes, or rates, why do they get so much money from our governments, to abuse and indoctrinate children into a violent, abusive and suppressive cult. Which has spent it’s entire history fighting between their various factions and making every effort to enforce the genocide of all indigenous peoples.

    Why are they not brought to account for the destruction, torture and incarceration of Tas and Aus indigenous people and culture.

    Why does our society tolerate such insanity to believe a mythical war god could exist in reality and then allow them to get away with just about every crime in the book.

    What it does show is the majority have yet to come out of the dark ages, even though every day we read how one of these supposed good people has abused more of our kids.

    As long as we allow these degenerates to have free reign over our children, our societies will continue their downward spiral into psychological negativity.

  8. Doug Nichols

    April 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Yes Leonard, beheading atheists is a terrible crime. We are indeed fortunate that it does not happen in these parts.

    I would suggest that my #6 fits very well with your #9.

  9. Karl Stevens

    April 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Leonard Colquhoun 9. You’re right, no beheadings or crucifixions have taken place over this (yet). Could it be a case of the ‘narcissism of small differences’ in this dispute?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism_of_small_differences

  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    April 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    “ASIAN ATHEIST BEHEADED BY RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS”

    It could be the generic headline for this Wednesday’s faith-inspired atrocity, and very relevant, given the bishop-bashing article which is generating this Comments thread.

    But wait – there’s more:

    ~ the “Asian atheist” was a Bangladeshi;

    ~ the “religious fundamentalists” were Islamic.

    Oh, so no need to get worked up, or switch on the photo-op moralista outrage – not the work of one of those nasty old C of E or RC clerics, then.

    Back to bashing the bishops.

  11. Anne Cadwallader

    April 7, 2016 at 11:27 am

    The Anglican priesthood has long been a strong career option for gay men, just as the Catholic priesthood has. Whereas the celibate world of the Catholic priest created a cover, and a culture where closet and quite active sexuality could flourish, and a respected and integrated place in society in spite of that, the Anglican world required a higher level of hypocrisy. For an Anglican priest, marriage was seen as desirable and so undercover homosexuality was a fraught and yet very widespread phenonenon.

    Some decades ago now, a group of friends and I supported a friend, an Anglican clergyman married with teenage children, who came out as gay and left his marriage for a male companion. He told me that it was well known within Anglican circles that between a quarter and a third of all Anglican clergy were gay or bisexual and sexually active. As he struggled to work out his career options – and whether to stay in the church, he was offered a posting to a diocese in NSW which would accept him – covertly – but a condition of that was rather demeaning. The bishop of that diocese would, it was implied, exact a price in sexual favours, and a whole enclave of gay clergy had found a haven in that diocese that was coloured by that fact.

    Similar circles of favour and patronage are believed to have surrounded (a well-known Catholic) in his early career, and I would think played a very significant part in his and fellow bishops’’ unwillingness to confront child sexual abuse, in that many of the players could implicate each others’ sexual behaviour if pressed.

    Denouncing homosexuality, and in fact being frankly obsessed with this fairly insignificant aspect of the challenges facing the world, and the church, always to me points to a more personal motivation, at various levels of consciousness.

    Dr. Condie and his regressive subgroup within Anglicanism represent a terrible betrayal of what Jesus’s message was about. Inclusion, openness, diversity, love, and truthfulness.

    Being concerned about homosexuality is, in a repressive setting, a very good way to draw heat.

    Gay life has emerged into a wholesome light, from the horrors of the past, and all the duplicity that came with it, let alone the suffering, suicide, broken and blighted lives that repression cost. That gay people want to form loving and committed relationships, and are being thwarted by those supposed to represent love and inclusion, is sickening and sad. I would deeply suspect adherents of the Jerusalem Declaration, and moves within Hobart to entrench those views, as being motivated by very mixed unconscious motives.

    These characters, methinks, protest too much.

  12. Carol Rea

    April 6, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    #4 Dr Buck Fr Rod Bower of the Anglican Parish of Gosford is a shining example of light and love. He stays within the Anglican church but preaches truth and tolerance. Enjoy ‘The Bower Effect’. Fr Rod is still supporting Marriage Equality and still does not support a plebiscite.
    https://vimeo.com/129361594

  13. Doug Nichols

    April 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Aren’t there enough actually wrong things in the world to be trying to fix, rather than worrying about perfectly normal and commonplace and legal things such as homosexuality and sex before marriage?

  14. Leonard Colquhoun

    April 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Not sure whether it’s been mentioned or alluded to, but the most important feature of our sorts of cultures and countries is the ‘separation of church and state’, reversing the fatal decision of Roman emperor Theodosius in 380 to make Christianity the sole official religion of the empire.

    It took about 1300 years for some of us to escape this tyranny – now, no bishops anywhere in the Anglo-Celtic world, and in most of the rest of the Western world, have the recourse to the State to force their dogmas on us.

    This particular bishop can pulpit-vent as much as he likes, but it’s just words, words, words. Now, if only Muslim peoples everywhere had the same rights to freedom from religion as our ancestors fought and died for. (Or, if that’s they way they like it, they’d keep it to themselves.)

  15. Dr Buck Emberg

    April 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    When I first came to Australia, 45 years ago, I was somewhat comfortable with the Anglicans…after all, I discovered that the Lutherans were so narrow they slept on strings and wanted nothing to do with ANYBODY except their own blinded Lutheran brand! So I slipped out the sacristy door, unnoticed.

    However, it has been increasingly discomforting to witness an inexhorrible (spelling: mine) drift to the right…and the drift became a river and then a flood. The present drive to fundamentalism and philosophical/theological/social conservatism, is not only non-Anglican…it is suicide. I predict the Anglicans, if they continue on this path will rest in pieces.

    When I was handed a meaningless chocolate Easter bunny egg after Easter services I knew the Anglican Church had come to its own, nicely built, cul de sac and was merely going around in circles…aimless, like eyeless Sampson in Gaza.

    Sorry, but I hope someone will rescue the Anglicans…the present mob in charge is ‘hell’ bent to committing Anglicide’.

    Where is the sacristy door this time? Probably put up for auction or in a garage sale..

    Dr DH “Buck” Emberg, St Helens

  16. Chris

    April 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

  17. Chris Sharples

    April 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Religion has served a useful – arguably essential – purpose over the 50,000 years or so since humanities evolution of a high degree of self-consciousness gave us awareness our own mortality and resulted in the existential horror which accompanies that awareness. This literally forced us to create a cultural coping mechanism – religious belief – without which we undoubtedly would have been the first species to go extinct through collective clinical depression.

    However after millennia of cultural evolution we now have the intellectual, philosophical and emotional tools to face the reality of our mortality without self-deception, and to live authentically without blind faith or mystery-mongering.

    Which is rather fortunate, given that the blindness and bigotry which so often accompanies religious belief is now the deepest, most ingrained stumbling block in our quest to build a better, more inclusive, fair and open society in which all people can flourish regardless of their race, sexual orientation or other differences.

  18. John Biggs

    April 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    This sort of intolerant, fanatical, unChristlike christianity is the last thing Christianity needs.

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