NZ Herald 15 July 2014
Amid the swirl of opinion around the Anglican General Synod’s decision to commit to finding a way to bless gay couples, the epithets for orthodox Anglicans have mounted: anti-gay, homophobic, wrong, immoral, betrayers of Jesus, unloving, judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, ostracising, unjust and hypocritical. Doubtless an incomplete list, but enough to paint a nasty picture.
The advice meted out is hardly less blunt: grow up and put your archaic house in order, get loving in the progressive sense – or get out.
I understand where the authors of these epithets are coming from. I recognise their world view is very different from mine, and that within that world view their arguments make sense. I will defend to the death their right to express their view, and to celebrate same-sex relationships in whatever ways the laws of the land allow.
However, I have a right to argue that their world-view is not a biblical one, that the Church should not conform to it, and that all orthodox Anglicans are not as mad, bad or sad as these epithets portray.
When I stand before my congregation I see a mixed multitude in nearly every sense. I know them well, and they are a very loving, caring, humble group, committed to serving God and one another. They visit and care for one another, and for the community in which they live. The parish operates a trust, dedicated to serving the local community. A number work or volunteer for organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, Hospice Waikato and a local cancer support group.