Newcastle Synod Decision A “Stitch-Up”

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Last week reported on the decision by the synod of Newcastle Diocese to approve 2 controversial bills. The first sought to change the Diocese’s disciplinary procedures so that being in a same-sex marriage was to not be considered an offence (including being considered as a breach of Faithfulness in Service). The second, which was not completed and sent to Diocesan Council (where it will almost certainly be approved), was a “Wangaratta” type bill to allow for a liturgy of blessing for those in a same-sex marriage.

Since that synod vote many members have contacted to voice their concern about how these votes came about. Those who got in touch used language such as “concerning”, “deeply upsetting”, “offensive to conservatives” and even “a stitch-up”.

The substance of the many complaints concerns the work, or more accurately the lack of work of the Diocesan “Faith and Order Commission” (“FAOC”).

The existence of a FAOC was first suggested as part of Bishop Peter Stuart’s 2017 Presidential Address where he said,

If we wish to, there is an opportunity for us in this Diocese to make a significant contribution in national Anglican discussions and in wider public discourse. Some years ago the Diocese of Sydney established a Doctrine Commission to assist in such work. A bishop can be greatly assisted in their commentary knowing that there has been careful consideration of matters in their Diocese. We have particular insights to offer because of our rich history as well as vast experience of ministry in an industrial city as well as in suburban and rural centres. I hope that the Diocese might establish a Faith and Order Commission to give careful consideration to matters of significance. I envisage a small group of say five people – two appointed by DC and two appointed by the Bishop, with the Bishop also appointing the Chair. Such a group could be augmented in its work by some consultants with particular expertise. I hope that such a Commission would publish essays and hold workshops enabling the Diocesan family and others to explore important matters at depth. My hope is that the clergy and people of the Diocese would happily be part of such theological conversations.

The FAOC was then established by Diocesan Council in 2018 with the Dean, Katherine Bowyer as it’s chair, as reported in the year book:

The 2018 Strategic Plan for the diocese contained a reference to the work of the FAOC:

In assisting the Diocese to engage in collaborative thinking and decision-making it will prepare a theological and biblical resource on a critical question to be considered across the Diocese in discussion groups and as part of a conference session at each Synod (FAOC001).

The Faith and Order Commission will help us in 2019 hear the experience of LGBTIQ+ people and develop a diocesan understanding of and response to what we hear (FAOC002).

Motion 20.4 passed by the 2018 synod included a clause which read as follows:

That this synod:

3. Supports and encourages the Faith and Order Commission to listen to the experience of LGBTIQ+ people and develop a diocesan understanding to what we hear (FAOC002).

The FAOC set about the task of considering the topic of human sexuality. A number of additional people were added to the core group and they were sent copious amounts of reading to begin their work. But the FAOC never met, let alone produced the promised “theological and biblical resource” on human sexuality. So it was a great surprise to many in synod that the two human sexuality bills arrived as private bills introduced by the chair of the FAOC when the FAOC had no report to deliver to inform those debates (as was its mandate) nor, it appeared, had even met once to consider the matter.

One member of synod reports what happened during the debate (the events of which have been corroborated by a number of sources also present):

On the floor of Synod the Dean had the question put to her. “Why did this bill not come to us via the Faith and Order Commission?” She paused, turned to Bishop Peter, and then replied haltingly (with some confusion in her voice), “I understand that the Faith and Order Commission has been disbanded.”

Surprise has been expressed to that even the chair of the FAOC didn’t know whether the body had been disbanded or not.

And so the synod considered the matter. More than one person that we have spoken to have expressed a similar opinion on the mind of synod; that they are deferential to the bishop and will consider something that he approves of as something that should be approved. So it was with these two bills. While proposed by the Dean, they were understood by many to have the Bishop’s clear backing. As one synod member put it to us, “the Dean is the Bishop’s agent for getting things done”. It may have been a private bill but the implication was that this was “official” and “from the leadership of the diocese”.

We approached the Dean for comment and asked her some specific questions, many of the same questions that we were hearing from members of synod themselves:

1. Were the FAOC provided with reading material prior to meeting together to discuss questions of human sexuality?

2. Did the FAOC meet to discuss this topic?

3. When and how was the FAOC disbanded?

4. Given that the communicated intent was that the FAOC report to synod to assist in the debate over human sexuality, what alternative means to equip synod for the debate were considered?

We received the following answer for publication:

The Synod of the Diocese resolved affirmatively around the questions brought to it. These matters are now with the Appellate tribunal, and the Diocese will participate in these processes.

Conservatives in the diocese are now very disappointed with the way that things have been handled. They were promised participation and collaboration but saw those much-publicised vehicles sidelined with no explanation. They have spoken to us of a breach of trust by the bishop himself and we understand that several who serve in diocesan posts are now seriously considering their positions.

One member of synod said to, “Conservatives and evangelicals have been treated with contempt” by “a group of leading individuals in the diocese”.

If the diocese has entered a crisis over the votes themselves, it has only been made worse by the manner in which those votes were reached.

update: 5pm 8 November 2019

The Bishop of Newcastle, Peter Stuart, has sent an email to the diocese including the following:

Faith and Order Commission

You will recall at the Synod that there was some mention of the work of the Diocesan Faith and Order Commission and the fact that it hadn’t met during 2019. I expressed sadness that it was one of my dreams that hadn’t come to fruition. I didn’t respond a comment about it being disbanded.

Since the Synod, I have received feedback to the effect that people would like to see the Commission continue to enable us to develop a Newcastle Anglican perspective on complex theological questions.

Dean Katherine has shared with me that in 2020 she will have responsibilities to the General Synod and for incorporating the congregation of St Peters Hamilton into the Cathedral Parish. With those additional roles she doesn’t feel able to continue as chair. When I think of the demands of being the sole priest at the Cathedral during 2019 on top of which was, and is, the impact by the Graeme Lawrence trial, I am conscious of the huge responsibilities Katherine shoulders. I have accepted her request to step away from that role.

Canon Andrew Eaton has accepted appointment as Chair. He will gather the group early in 2020 to establish their working practices. The agenda may include –

Further consideration of the insights from thus years Morpeth Lecture on Disability and Aging,
Such further consideration of matters related to the blessing of same-sex marriage as may be required.
The appropriateness of congregations meeting on Sunday to receive communion by extension in the absence of a priest.
With a view to the longer term – the possibility of the NSW Parliament considering voluntary assisted dying legislation and a possible Diocesan response.
If you would like to be part of the Commission, please let me know.

The new Chair of the FAOC is known as a very vocal supporter of same-sex marriage.

image: Diocese of Newcastle

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This Post Has 88 Comments

  1. Bruce Lyon

    Insightful piece David. The Diocesan Bishop does not come up smelling of roses, it seems to me. Rather, this stinks to High Heaven.

  2. John McWhirter-Whitlock

    It is extremely sad that bishops ignore their ordination vows when they promised to preach the truth of Scripture. Come judgement day those Bishops who ignore God’s view on marriage will have to face God wrath.

    1. Bruce Lyon

      Yup. Here is an apt quote below, that ought to bring about urgent repentance by the Diocesan.

      “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”
      St. John Chrysostom (attributed)

  3. Jack

    Yes it’s a stitch up and the new chair is a radical anti Bible evangelical hating liberal. Endless deception.

  4. Daniel Willis

    I’ve had a long connection with the diocese through various organisations and people. Bp Stuart (before becoming bishop) held a role in the diocese when the former dean held and maneuvered the reins. Even though the former dean has been removed, there is still more to be uncovered and people to be held accountable. The rot has only been scraped, not excised!

    1. Bruce Lyon

      The fact that the recent Synod passed supportive legislation of SSB and redefined sexual sin, and that this has NOT been repudiated by the current Diocesan, demonstrates the entire Diocese at clergy level as a general statement has been spiritually corrupted and moribund of a saving Gospel from the top down, save a few notable exceptions. Including the Archdeacon of Newcastle.

      1. Greg Colby

        Bruce I don’t think the word “moribund” means what you think it means.

        1. Bruce Lyon

          Hmmm … perfectly apt. A spiritually dying Diocese, with most bereft of Salvation, that is moribund.

          “1. Approaching death; about to die.
          2. On the verge of becoming obsolete: moribund customs; a moribund way of life.”

          1. revgregcolby

            You’re quite right – I simply assumed, as you’d used the word an way that didn’t make sense in the sentence, that you didn’t understand. One can’t be “moribund of” something, one can have something which is moribund. Purely semantics I guess.

  5. Slo-Mo

    It could be time for the faithful left amongst them to call on Bishop Behan across the pond.

    1. Bruce Lyon

      Indeed. The current Diocesan is not the answer.

    2. peterwotton

      Calling on a schismatic bishop is hardly the way – possibly those who feel the need for such action should leave the Anglican Communion and join bishop Behan’s new church.

      1. Bruce Lyon

        The Newcastle Anglican Diocesan has already left the Anglican Communion, and is #Hellbound, without repentance. Many liberal clergy (gay marriage supporters, blessing of gay marriage supporters) in the also in the same boat, on the Wide Road …

        Repent and believe. Like ++Glen Davies does. Else as he also says, PLEASE LEAVE.

        1. Peter Wotton

          Bruce , your comment shows a lack of love and understanding. The NZ Bishop is not in communion with Canterbury and so is not an Anglican by definition

          1. Bruce Lyon

            GAFCON is indeed Anglican, with or without Canturbury.

            1. peterwotton

              The definition of Anglicanism is communion with Canterbury. If you disagree with Canterbury, then go form your own church. I understand that the Archbishop recently offered the same suggestion to those who disagreed with him

              1. Bruce Lyon

                To be Anglican is to be Christian. To be saved. To be in Communion with Christ, in an Anglican tradition. To be a true Anglican one must be also truly saved.

                The Newcastle Anglican Synod and their current Diocesan have demonstrated that in large part, they have indeed decided to approach matters of Scriptural Authority and Human Sexuality to do this the “Newcastle Way”, in other words to start their own Church, and to cease to be of the Christian faith.

                In other words, many liberal progressive Clergy by virtue of this ‘stitch-up’, including the Diocesan have shown themselves to be fake Christians. Apostates. Not true Anglicans.

              2. David Ould

                The definition of Anglicanism is communion with Canterbury.

                Not according to the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia. It sets out a number of Fundamental Declarations (none of which relate to any “Anglican” identity) and then further describes our particular churchmanship with respect to the BCP, Ordinal and 39 Articles. Only when all this is established does it go on to state,

                6. This Church will remain and be in communion with the Church of England in England and with churches in communion therewith so long as communion is consistent with the Fundamental Declarations contained in this Constitution.

                The second part is critical. Even being in communion with the Church of England is not the essence of who we are. It’s low down the list and can be set aside if such would be inconsistent with other Fundamentals. Thus it’s not “the definition”. It is an interesting element but not an essential one – the Constitution specifically outlines a situation where we might be Anglican and yet not in communion with the Church of England.

                It says nothing about any relationship to the see of Canterbury – that’s a 19th Century invention.

                1. Bruce Lyon

                  Thanks for the additional insights David. I do not see what you say here as ‘legalism’, just factual.

                2. Peter Wotton

                  Sadly David , both legalistic and judgemental. Typical also of the Pharisees .
                  Where does love, redemption and acceptance fit into the Calvinist approach

                  1. Bruce Lyon

                    As soon as you don’t like a basic and straght forward factual statement David or someone makes, they are instantly a Sydneyite-Jensonite-Calvinistic-Legalistic-Pharisee who are to be instantly ignored, who do not understand a supposed “doctrine of love”, devoid of understanding God’s vengeance (“Vengeance is ind says the Lord, I will repay”) and perfect justice, that ignores Christ’s and Paul’s teachings on repentance and Hell?

                    This sounds horribly close ni my book to a claim Peter, that you seem to be resorting to the old liberal progressive tactic of ‘shooting the messenger’, aka Ad-hominem attacks.

                    As any number of online sources define this particular approach Peter, it generally does nothing to advance any line of reasoning, but rather points to inadequacies of reasoning by the complainer.

                    Can I point you to some excellent teaching on the ‘wrath of God’ or if you will the ‘vengeance of God’.

                    See by John Piper.

                    1. Bruce Lyon

                      Typo … ““Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay” …
                      Deut 32:35, Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30 etc

                    2. peterwotton

                      Bruce, can I rather point you to some aspects of love in the New Testament as expressed by Our Lord , rather than your suggestions “some excellent teaching on the ‘wrath of God’ or if you will the ‘vengeance of God’” as expressed a human scholar of your choice?

                      I pray that the Holy Spirit will turn your heart to the words of Jesus Christ and his message of love.

                  2. David Ould

                    who said anything about Calvinism? You keep mentioning it but nobody here is making it an issue. I just corrected your false assertion about Anglicanism and I did it from the constitution of our national church.

                    Every bishop promises to uphold that constitution when they’re consecrated. Are they therefore all legalists? Or are you just calling people names when you’re confronted with facts that you don’t like?

                    1. chris russell

                      peterwotton, you appear not to understand the simple “aspects of love in the New Testament as expressed by Our Lord”. The message of love in the New Testament expressed by Our Lord does not involve acceptance of the recalcitrant sinner who will not repent of their sin, whether publican or woman caught in adultery etc. Likewise those who would bless homosexuals qua homosexuals or practice homosexuality remain within reach of the New Testament message of love only if they repent of their sin. Got it? It is doing the work of the Devil to convey any teaching to the contrary, in Canterbury or elsewhere.

                    2. peterwotton

                      God made us all , including homosexuals.
                      The Second Great Commandment does not make exceptions as to whom our neighbours are.
                      Even Pharisees and arrogant judgement makers are included.
                      I will pray that the Holy Spirit grants you the understanding and Love of our Lord

                    3. chris russell

                      peterwotton, yes, God made us all, including the people who are homosexuals; yes, the Second Great Commandment makes no exceptions as to who are our neighbours. Further, the Pharisee and the maker of arrogant judgements are included. Moreover I, personally, need more of the love and understanding of Jesus who is the Christ.

                      This much is true, but this is not an argument over who has the claim to use the appropriate religious language. What is at issue is who is misusing the language of the New Testament – and, clearly, it is you.

                    4. chris russell

                      peterwotton, yes, God made us all, including people who are homosexual; yes, the Second Great Commandment makes no exceptions as to who are our neighbours. Further, the Pharisee and the maker of arrogant judgements are included. Moreover I, personally, need more of the love and understanding of Jesus who is the Christ.

                      But this is not an argument over who has the claim to use the appropriate religious language. What is at issue is who is misusing the language of the New Testament – and, clearly, it is you.

                    5. peterwotton

                      Chris, Being gay is not a choice BUT wife bashing is a choice , as also is fraud ( bankers?) , mistreatment of refugees, judgement, lack of charity, greed, misrepresentation . I could go on. These are what Anglicans should focus on.
                      Love is also a choice, and that we shall all be judged,

                    6. chris russell

                      peterwotton, it is noteworthy that it is not a feature of biblical anthropology that persons are identified by their sexual behaviour. This is because we are to understand ourselves as being created in the image of God, not for the purposes of sex. Thus it is not the import of the biblical prohibition against homosexuality that we are created heterosexual. Insofar as the Bible is relevant to this peculiar, modern debate, it simply explains sexual behaviour as a function of biological maturity within the order of Creation (Gen.2:24). The fact that human behaviour, both heterosexual and homosexual, is often deviant from this account, is significant only insofar as this serves, in effect, to specify the scope of sexual immorality. I don’t know about Anglicans, but I would suggest that this is what those who would look for direction from Scripture need to focus on.

                    7. peterwotton

                      The New Testament is full of love. Both Great Commandments are unambiguous about it. Our Lord commanded us to love our neighbour – that means exactly what it says.

                    8. chris russell

                      “The love of God is greater far
                      Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
                      It goes beyond the highest star,
                      And reaches to the lowest hell;
                      The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
                      God gave His Son to win;
                      His erring child He reconciled,
                      And pardoned from his sin.

                      When hoary time shall pass away,
                      And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
                      When men who here refuse to pray,
                      On rocks and hills and mountains call;
                      God’s love, so sure, shall still endure,
                      All measureless and strong;
                      Redeeming grace to Adam’s race
                      The saints’ and angels’ song.

                      Could we with ink the ocean fill,
                      And were the skies of parchment made;
                      Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
                      And ev’ry man a scribe by trade;
                      To write the love of God above
                      Would drain the ocean dry;
                      Nor could the scroll contain the whole
                      Tho’ stretched from sky to sky”.

                    9. peterwotton

                      I prefer Matthew and Corinthians.
                      The New Testament is full of love , so I cannot understand why Sydney Diocese is so full OT sin, rules and hell.
                      The big problems that we face are not SSA but hatred and violence.

                    10. Bruce Lyon

                      Hmmm. How a plain old word study. Here you go.

                      NASB Word Study
                      Old Testament New Testament
                      Love 250 234
                      Heaven 378 259
                      Live 651 115
                      Life 334 197
                      TOTAL 1613 805

                      Death 313 146
                      Die 446 108
                      Hell 15
                      Sheol 65
                      Grave 70 5
                      Hades 10
                      Gehenna 0 0
                      Lake of fire 4
                      Second death 4
                      Retribution 3 2
                      TOTAL 897 294

                    11. peterwotton

                      When did Jesus ever side with the establishment? When did he ever say kill the Cannanites When did he support a patriachy? When did he preach separation to his disciples.
                      Why do Puritans and Calvinists talk about sin and hell and not redemption and love?

                    12. Bruce Lyon

                      Puritans and Calvinists, and Arminians (Methodists) for that matter, all preach the authentic Gospel of Salvation. Puritans and Calvinists often also include the Doctrines of Grace, aka T.U.L.I.P.

                      God’s love for His fallen creation, man, is HIS graceful message, and it comes with HIS caveats. God owes man NOTHING but justice, which is, hell and the lake of fire.

                      God’s grace, is that He Saves Man from Sin, by repentance from sin, and faith in the Bodily Risen Christ.

                      You cannot preach Heaven and Salvation, without also preaching Hell and God’s wrath for man’s sin. You cannot be saved from nothing. We are saved. But what from? Hell. God’s justice. The flip side of God’s justice, the amazing thing, is God’s grace. God’s grace trumps God’s justice but there are some important caveats here. Repentance from sin, and faith in Jesus Christ alone.

                      John the Baptist said essentially the same thing. Wrath OR flee this, and Repent. See this below.

                      Luke 3:3,7-8a ” He [John the Baptist] went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” & ” John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…”

                      Jesus, who was baptised by John the Baptist then also preached, saying essentially the same thing.

                      John 3:36: “6 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

                      Jesus never preached Universalism – compulsory salvation for everyone. Compulsory salvation by God is not grace. Far from it. It is man telling God what to do. The clay pot telling the potter who is really boss.

                    13. peterwotton

                      The lack of love disappoints.

                    14. Bruce Lyon

                      The lack of love for their fellow biological man and biological woman, by the Newcastle Anglicans, in preaching a false gospel of death by sin for life (same sex marriage, denying the Bible in many other ways too) is indeed disappointing. There is zero love here. Just hatred and plain outright rejection of God, of Christ, of the Bible and joyous salvation itself.

                      Repent and believe.

                    15. peterwotton

                      Sad to hear more sin and no love/

                    16. Bruce Lyon

                      By the Newcastle Diocese and Diocesan, Yes Indeed. My love to these poor spiritual recalcitrants is repentance and faith, a return from full blown apostasy before it is too late.

                      I am glad you agree.

                    17. peterwotton

                      That does sound a little like the Pharisee talking ” I am glad that i am not tec”

                    18. Bruce Lyon

                      No. I am a sinner. Worthy only of judgement except for God’s amazing grace towards me.

                    19. peterwotton

                      Biological? That applies to every one living. Hatred is your word not that of the Diocese of Newcastle.
                      I wonder when the Puritans/Calvinists follow the example of those who left their livings on the Restoration of the Stuarts rather than sign the Act of Uniformity . They followed their convictions.

                    20. Bruce Lyon

                      And this is exactly the spiritual problem the Newcastle Diocese and Diocesan Bishop are trying to implement. The claypot (Newcastle Anglicans) telling the potter (God and Christ) the rules of engagement for the Potter’s salvation, in relation to redefining sin, sexual sin, and overturning Biblical Authority by flawed Diocesan legislation.

                    21. chris russell

                      peterwotton: in reply:

                      Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world. Thus he took sides neither for or against the Establishment, and neither for or against patriarchy. Having said that, he was not ‘inclusive’ i.e. in the manner of what is the Establishment of our own time, whereas he was not a hypocrite before God in the manner of the religious Establishment of his own time on Earth, nor in the manner of the religious Establishment of our own era.
                      As I understand it, the Canaanites were already dead. This observation is meant merely to oppose what appears to be, characteristically, your anachronistic reading of the Bible.
                      Jesus preached separation to His disciples repeatedly eg. Mathew 10:14. It is a teaching that the Sydney diocese should consider more carefully, I believe.
                      The failure of the Sydney diocese to disown the “OT sin rules and hell” may be explained both by its continuing consistency with the corresponding teaching of Jesus who is the Messiah, and further, following the erly Church, by its effective repudiation of the Marionite heresy.

  6. Robert Bruce

    Matthew 23: 27-28.

  7. Laurie Scandrett

    One of the many sad subtleties of the email that Peter Stuart sent to the Diocese on or about 8 November is that the Cathedral in Newcastle can now only afford one clergy-person on its paid staff (the Dean) assisted, according to its website, by one honorary deacon. And the Dean will now also be responsible, from 1 December 2019, for the adjacent liberal anglo-catholic parish of St Peter’s Hamilton (who were last able to publish a pew sheet on 1 September).

    Where are all the LGBTIQA+ parishioners supporting these two churches with their freewill offertories?

  8. chris russell

    When a church deviates from its faith, it is not such a sad thing that it should encounter financial problems. We have the same situation in the Wangaratta diocese, and yet, the money is readily raised to repair the Cathedral organ damaged by rodents outside the pulpit. The concerts that take place in churches here are always very well attended. You don’t need clergy if your only useful role is in the area of cultural events and social welfare. In fact, the community today would be better off without clergy. Sadly, a new bishop is to be appointed in Wangaratta, rather than an administrator.

  9. Greg Colby

    Well, these people who claim to have been ” treated with contempt” must have been at some other synod – every single person who had anything to say was treated with the utmost respect and listened to and thanked for their contribution to the conversation – it is an outright lie to suggest that there was any kind of ‘stitch’ up or underhanded manner in which votes were gained for the affirmative on the questions put to our synod. You might ned to get better sources – perhaps some with the courage to put their names to their slanderous lies.

    1. Bruce Lyon

      An outcome pre-empted by the Diocesan seems to me to have been accurately captured here. Ask any conservative in ANGDON.

    2. David Ould

      hi Greg. Are any of the facts in the timeline set out above untrue? If so, which ones?

      1. revgregcolby

        David, I already stated what I believe to be untrue – that there’s been any kind of “stitch up” to begin with. You don’t mention in your piece of gossip that the Bishop had already been asked and had answered questions regarding FAOC which is why Dean Bowyer seemed confused – you know, why ask a question already asked and answered.

        To publish the claim that the Dean is in anyway not her own person, or that our Bishop would manipulate such an underhanded manner just shows the type of people you and your posse of courageous ‘conservatives’ are.

        The synod provided a safe and respectful space for all to have their say – and to suggest their wasn’t time for people to discuss or reflect is to be deliberately ignorant of the debate had in the Anglican Church around the world for the past 20+ years! The fact of the matter is that there are more people in our diocese, both clergy and laity, who believe that God’s blessing should not be withheld from anyone who seeks it.

        Plenty of people tried to keep the ‘unacceptable’ folks away from Jesus, and yet he still blessed, healed, forgave, ate with, and accepted them. I suspect that whomever seeks to stop people from coming to God will find they’ve joined the herd of goats.

        1. David Ould

          Greg, I’m just reporting what people who were at the synod said to me.
          I see that you’ve not challenged the timeline of events. That you interpret them differently is obvious but you’re in denial if you think that conservatives in the diocese aren’t feeling very very badly disappointed with how they’ve been treated.

  10. revgregcolby

    David I have no doubt conservatives are feeling bad – but they have absolutely no call at all to be feeling bad at how they have been treated – they were treated with absolute respect, Their input acknowledged and gratitude expressed…anyone claiming to have been treated badly is simply lying – if they read this and have any valid claim to say otherwise – I challenge them to put their names to their claims instead of giving about things in underhanded and deceitful manner, i.e. feeding you with lies and misinformation.

    There were no new reasons, either for or against trotted out, so it’s simply disingenuous to claim that the bill not going before FAOC placed anyone at a disadvantage on the floor of synod, so I simply can’t understand the claim of “mistreatment”. Sour grapes is far more likely, they live and minister in a diocese which has a majority of its clergy and to the idea that no one is excluded from God’s blessing….such an awful way to think isn’t it?

    1. Bruce Lyon

      False teaching, redefining sexual sin, and usrping the Scripture by the doctrines of a mere progressive clergy and a supportive Diocesan who is here today and gone tomorrow … seems reason enuf to be maltreated.

      Rejecting FIS is the icing on the cake of Satanic and demonic driven capitulation to the world.

      Praise God for Camden Haven, Nelson Bay, ANeW, Kincumber and others.

      1. Judy Wotton

        David where is Love in all this? Where is Jesus in all this? Where is my neighbour in all this? Please use your time to support the victims of Domestic Violence, The Uluru Statement from the Heart, the gay community, the prisoners, and all those suffering in God’s creation. Put down your Pharisee pen and tell us about Jesus.

        1. David Ould

          hi Judy,
          I’m afraid your accusation is very confusing. The Pharisees were berated by Jesus for insisting on strict lawkeeping as a means to righteousness. Where have I ever done such a thing?
          Perhaps you can back up your charge. Or, have the integrity to retract it.

        2. Bruce Lyon

          It seems to me Judy the love is very clear from David.

          It starts with the Gospel, which starts with a proper ‘fear of the Lord’, including an understanding of sin, God’s justice, and God’s mercy, and our depravity, and the need for repentance.

          This includes understanding Hell and Heaven.

          David does not want anyone to end up in Hell. Neither do any conservatives in Newcastle Anglican Diocese.

          But sadly, the progressive majority of clergy and laity who redefine sexual sin, that is play God, denying the FiS document, and do not teach Biblical authority, and even deny Christ Body Resurrection, are leading many and heading to Hell themselves, and this comes back to a false gospel, lead by a Diocesan who supports this false Gospel, and tries to wrap this up as ‘diversity’.

          The Newcastle Anglican gospel then seeks to become ‘Unity in Diversity’ rather than “saved from Hell from the Body Risen Christ Jesus alone’.

          Such a false Gospel is NOT what the Diocesan promised in his episcopal vows.

          Repentance from this waywardness, and a return to the 39 Articles, and the Scriptures is urgently required.

          A special Synod to repeal this awful legislation is urgently required.

          There of course will not be any such Synod, thus leading one to understand the prince of this world has come to dominate the Newcastle Anglicans, as has the same darkness come to invade the Uniting Church in Australia, and also in the Hunter Presbytery.

          1. peterwotton

            Love does not come from fear!

            1. Bruce Lyon

              Actually it does.

              The FEAR of the LORD is the BEGINNING of WISDOM.

              Hell exists. As a warning of God’s Judgement, but ALSO HIS LOVE AND GRACE.

              1. Peter Wotton

                I believe that the comment about fear and wisdom is trumped by the direct command of Our Lord in his Second Great Commandment. All about Love

                1. Bruce Lyon

                  Ahhhh … you pick and choose which texts you like and reject others … its always wise to get some context.

                  The person who mentioned Hell the most in the New Testament was Christ himself.

                  Also Jesus said in Matt 7:12-14 “In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the Prophets. 13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

                  Christ does not trump himself. In context, Jesus mentions the Second part of the Great Commandment in vs 12, and immediately warns about hell in vs 13 and 14.

                  1. peterwotton

                    Our Lord was reserving Hell for those who do not love! You are doing the picking.

                    “In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you” . The Second Great Commandment re-visited. Again, the command of love from Jesus Christ..
                    I believe that “love” is mentioned many more times in the Gospels than ‘Hell”

                    1. Bruce Lyon

                      Ummm … seriously?

                      vs 13: Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate” … this means only one thing. Repent from your sins and believe by faith in Christ Jesus

                      .Because Christ alone is the narrow gtate.

                      John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

                      Hell is what we all deserve, For we are all of Adam and under God’s curse of death.

                      Those who repent and believe, giving up the old self and believing upon Christ are saved, and all else perish, by the will of God. Only those chosen since the beginning before the Creation of the World are to be saved.

                      Yes indeed love is mentioned more often than hell, yet this does not trump the essentially warning of repentance and faith.

                      What are we saved from?


                      And that is God’s amazing love. To understand the GRAVITY of our predicament as sinners, and to come to realise God’s amazing love despite our sins.

  11. chris russell

    I would hope that David does not use his time to take action in support of political pressure groups. If he did, I would have to raise the question as to where Jesus was in all this. In relation to all those who are suffering in God’s creation, however, I understand that David is assiduous in preaching of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So it’s more than a bit hard to follow the theologically uninformed criticism above.

  12. Peter Ror Wotton

    It is sad that the voice of the Holy Spirit is absent in this piece. The word of Our Lord in the New Testament is full of love and understanding of those on the outside of society.
    Suggesting otherwise does suggest a level of intolerance which is outside mainline Anglican tradition and has more traction in the non Anglican Calvinist churches.

      1. Peter Wotton

        David, you confirm my comments.

        1. David Ould

          I’m not sure what you mean by that, Peter, given that I have not made any response to your many comments up till now.
          I do, however, have a question for you. How does Jesus define marriage in Mark 10:6-8?

  13. peterwotton

    David, My apology, my comment was meant for Bruce Lyon.

    1. Bruce Lyon

      You did not seem to answer David’s question.

      Lambeth 1.10(e) states: [This conference] cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;

      Newcastle Anglicans are NOT Synodically compliant with Lambeth 1.10(e) and pending the Appellate Tribunal neither will the liberal progressive Diocesan.

      So, David’s question remains: How does Jesus define marriage in Mark 10:6-8?

      1. peterwotton

        Beware of pharisees judging and learn to love

      2. peterwotton

        Anglicans are not Calvinists but catholic and apostolic. No Calvinistic church has the three levels of deacon, priest and bishop as the global Anglican Communion has.
        I recall that last Synod in Sydney passed an ordinance in both the houses of the clergy and the laitiy recommending that the bishops allow church marriages for divorced women from violent marriages. Truly the Holy Spirit working in Sydney.

        1. Bruce Lyon

          Someone needs to do their homework.

          I suspect the well known Anglican and Calvinist, J.I. Packer would strongly disagree with you.

          Calvinist Anglicans is not an oxymoron.

          Presbyterian Churches who are often also Calvinist continue with the three orders of Overseer (Bishop), Presbyter and Deacon, although the overseer function is no longer personal but corporate by Council of Presbyters.

          1. peterwotton

            The Anglican orders are in accession from the Apostles . I understand that the orders in the Calvinist churches are largely self ordained. Anglicans believe in this Apostolic Succession .
            As I understand J.L Packer’s history, he moved from the Anglican church into a schismatic church, not in communion with Canterbury. Whether he is a Cavinist or not really has no bearing on whether he is both Anglican and a Calvinist since he has already made the decision that he is not a continuing Anglican. He did follow the strength of his convictions

            1. Bruce Lyon

              The Newcastle Anglican Diocese has / or is in the process of becoming Schismatic. That is rejecting Orthodoxy in faith and practice.

              Apostolic Succession is an interesting concept.

              The Uniting Church of Australia holds to Apostolic Succession.

            2. Bruce Lyon

              As David rightly points out, being “in communion with the Church of England in England” is not foundational to being an Australian Anglican.

              The way things are going for Newcastle AND Wangaratta, let alone Perth, Brisbane and others, there will be less and less Australian Anglican Bishops going to Lambeth and more going to GAFCON.

  14. peterwotton

    Bruce, Your obcession with sin and hell are more Calvinistic than Anglican. Are you in the wrong place?

    1. Bruce Lyon

      Sydney Anglicans in the majority are essentially of a Reformed and Calvinist tradition, excluding the Anglo Catholics. Evidenced easily of their adherence to the 39 Articles as a living and relevant document for today, not just yesterday. ie: True Anglicans

      There are many Reformed Calvinist evangelicals of an Anglican tradition who live in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle footprint and attend evangelical style Parishes.

      But this ‘stitch up’ is now the cause of great grief and soul searching.

      This is a huge blunder by the Diocesan. To literally create true division with absolutely no prospect of ‘living together’ without serious damage to the Diocese.

      I would not be surprised if Camden Haven, Nelson Bay, ANeW, Kincumber and other major parishes and their respective Clergy ended up seeking alternate episcopal oversight and ditching the Diocesan, and therefore, the Diocese. Which will then crumble under its own $50 million projected sexual victims complaints and reparations.

  15. peterwotton

    Traditionally, Anglican Provinces were all in communion with Canterbury. Changes to the Australian church constitution insisted on by Sydney somewhat changed that.

  16. chris russell

    peterwotton: in reply:

    Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world. Thus he took sides neither for or against the Establishment, and neither for or against patriarchy. Having said that, he was not ‘inclusive’ i.e. in the manner of what is the Establishment of our own time, whereas he was not a hypocrite before God in the manner of the religious Establishment of his own time on Earth, nor in the manner of the religious Establishment of our own era.
    As I understand it, the Canaanites were already dead. This observation is meant merely to oppose what appears to be, characteristically, your anachronistic reading of the Bible.
    Jesus preached separation to His disciples repeatedly eg. Mathew 10:14. It is a teaching that the Sydney diocese should consider more carefully, I believe.
    The failure of the Sydney diocese to disown the “OT sin rules and hell” may be explained both by its continuing consistency with the corresponding teaching of Jesus who is the Messiah, and further, following the early Church, by its effective repudiation of the Marionite heresy.

    1. peterwotton

      Chris, , Jesus did say much about the rich and the pharisees and little of that was not comforting to those mentioned>
      Why do I have to mention the Second Great Commandment so frequently>
      A commandment is an ORDER. Disobey at your peril.

      1. chris russell

        peterwotton, there is no disagreement between us concerning the NT commandments to love God and neighbour. Why do you mention it so frequently, when what is being put to you is that the teaching of Christ is for us all to come to Him in repentance from our sin?

        1. peterwotton

          Chris , I guess the answer there is “history” dating back to the Memorialists and how the diocese treated them and those who followed.
          However the big one is the way sex, sin and hell seem to take predominance over other aspects concerning our behaviour to our neighbour. I have mentioned them before, domestic violence, hardness of heart, treatment of refugees, the unemployed, the destitute. These are the more important aspects of Our Lord’s teaching which seem to be forgotten. The ones that he actually gave us an unambiguous direction on his Second Great commandment.

          Ponder 1 Corinthians 13 and Matthew 25:31-40 as well

          1. chris russell

            peterwotton, what you write reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan, and one of the ways in which it is misrepresented. At Luke 10:36, the lawyer (who wanted to know concerning who is his neighbour whom he is commanded to love), is asked by the Lord, instead, to identify, in the aforementioned parable, the one who acts in the manner of a neighbour toward the suffering victim: the Priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan.

            You may think it to be unambiguous that my neighbour is the victim, the refugee, the unemployed, the destitute, whereas the parable, actually, does not teach that the one who fell into the hands of the robbers is my neighbour. I do not see that Jesus did really give us any unambiguous direction on the second great commandment, as if it was incumbent upon Him to do so, or as if we otherwise did not know.

            To answer any question as to who is my neighbour, when we have heard the gospel call to repent of our sins and follow Christ is to miss the point. Christ came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance, Luke 5:32.

            1. peterwotton

              Chris, You forget that the Samaritans were the blood enemies of the Hebrews, yet the enemy helped. This parable is about “who is my neighbour” not who is the thief. That point of how we should care for others is reinforced by the other two passage of the New Testament I mentioned before.

              1. chris russell

                peterwotton, apparently you continue to forget that there is no disagreement between us concerning the NT commandments to love God and neighbour.

                What you overlook is that Jesus turned the question i.e. concerning who is my neighbour, against his interrogator. Thus, according to Jesus, what is at issue, in this parable of the Good Samaritan, concerns which character viz. priest, Levite, or Samaritan, proved himself to be a neighbour toward the man who fell among thieves. Luke 10:36.

                Let me put it this way: if Christ had come to call the righteous, not sinners to repentance, then the interview with the lawyer, recorded in Luke ch.10, would have ended at v.28. If so, it would then be appropriate for you to repudiate “the way [illicit] sex sin and hell seem to take predominance over other aspects concerning our behaviour to our neighbour”.

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