Two Bishops, two very different ways of approaching the world. In this article Wright spends thousands of words essentially saying that the Bible is complex, we can’t go back to modernity, truth is hard to get at and both sides are probably wrong. Then in this interview, Wright can’t deign to answer yes to a question that I would think could be answered simply:
CT: Do you agree with the content of the Sudanese statement?
TW: What they have done in their statement is simply reaffirm what the Anglican Communion has always taught and what the historic churches in Christendom have always taught. It is sad that these things need to be reaffirmed – clearly they do. So for millions of Christians around the world all that they have said is ‘we are still believing what we have always believed’. So it’s not exceptional.
Wright does accept that homosexual sex is sinful, and yet he can’t seem to just say that. I think this is because it would be too much of a sop to conservatives, and he has to be seen bashing both sides equally. So if one party puts forward a great error and the other defends settled truth, you have to seek some sort of middle ground that accommodates sides both I guess. We have the Unitarian example in New England to see how churches die when they give in to serious error, but Wright seems content to just keep “grappling” and “wrestling” with the text as souls perish.
On the other hand, as a breath of fresh air, we have Bishop Orombi. This good Bishop has apparently had enough of grappling and trying to figure out what the final act of the play looks like. He seems to be committed to that ancient idea of truth – how quaint – quite apart from contours and gestures towards tentative thoughts on a subject. Orombi can actually get to the point:
In every case, homosexual practice is considered sinful – something that breaks our relationship with God and harms our wellbeing. It is something for which one should repent and seek forgiveness and healing, which God is ever ready to do. Not only is Scripture to be taken seriously, but it is to be obeyed, because God intends for us things far better than we could ask or imagine.
How can we go to Holy Communion, sit in Bible study groups, and share meals together, pretending that everything is OK?, that we are still in fellowship with the persistent violators of biblical teaching and of Lambeth resolutions?
The Bible says: “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked us to “wait for each other”. But how is it possible when we are not travelling in the same direction?
Two Bishops approaching the issues with vastly different ways of speaking and praxis. Guess which Bishop I would rather serve under? It’s not hard to do.