It’s that time of year again! What were the top ten articles from 2022 on davidould.net? Always a fun little exercise to see what the big themes of the past year were and what got my readers excited.
Before the list proper, an honorary mention for one article from three years ago that was actually the fifth most read article of the year. “Fulfilled. Rachel Weeping for Her Children” was one of an advent series preached at the end of 2019 where we looked at the fulfilment passages in Matthew 1-2. Possibly the least read and therefore least understood of the many different cameo moments in the infancy narrative that Matthew shows us are a fulfilment of Old Testament promise, this one seems to show up on web searches on the text (Matt. 2:17-18).
Now, onto the list. In reverse order…
A fascinating story that I worked on for several months, investigating whether all the various claims I was hearing actually stacked up. Turns out that they did – the current bishop of Peru was for many years married to two women at the same time, covered it up, and then when the truth came out found that those around him who should have held him to account just swept it all under the carpet in the name of “forgiveness” – even though he had got ordained while married to one women while presenting another as his wife. That he is still in his role today speaks volumes.
A bit of an update post at the start of the year outlining where things had got to in the Anglican Church of Australia. The Primate’s call for us all to hold off until the General Synod (more of that to come) being thoroughly ignored by the revisionists.
General Synod arrived in May and the shenanigans were already starting. It was zero coincidence that several mainstream media outlets ran stories about Christian schools upholding Christian values. I can’t think who would have been pushing that agenda at exactly that moment…
This one began two years ago and isn’t over yet. McMartin will be sentenced in a few week’s time but more damning yet may be the story that comes out about those that knowingly overlooked his behaviour in the past. Watch this space.
That day at General Synod when a majority of bishops defied the overwhelming majority of both clergy and laity and couldn’t bring themselves to line up with Jesus’ teaching on marriage. But worse (if possible) was yet to come…
In February the Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, chose to ordain as deacon both a man who had been living in a de facto relationship with a woman for years, a relationship that had produced children, and also another man living in a registered civil union with another man for several years. Both lifestyles were clearly in breach of Faithfulness in Service, but Goldsworthy proceeded anyway. She has since priested both men. It’s fair to say that the diocese is now utterly fractured.
4. “Hurtfulness, Hypocrisy and Hate”. Brisbane Priest writes damning open letter to Archbishop of Brisbane
Meanwhile in Brisbane, the outgoing Archbishop’s Presidential Address at synod was a thinly-veiled attack upon the orthodox. One rector, who has since left the diocese (see below), wrote an open letter in response that got a lot of interest.
Not to be left out, the Bishop of Newcastle Peter Stuart, responded to the GAFCON Australasia Conference (more of which below) by demanding that all those in “executive positions” declare any interest in the movement. Possibly one of the most amazing acts of over-reach in a year of increasingly authoritarian and hostile actions against the orthodox by revisionists bishops across the country. Or maybe just a competition with Brisbane to see who can get rid of those pesky conservatives as quickly as possible.
That last day of General Synod ended with a moment that crystallised the mess that we’re in. A motion on unity went down in flames when an entirely appropriate amendment was passed. What was so controversial about this amendment on a motion about Anglican unity in Australia? Well, it simply stated that the Fundamental Declarations of the constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia ought to be something we should be united around. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
And so here we see the real (dare we say the Fundamental) issue that the Anglican Church of Australia is facing. The revisionist wing of the church insists that it wants unity. It tells us that we hold so much in common. Yet almost every time this synod was asked to affirm or clarify basic constitutional matters, let alone rejoice in them, the very same wing would protest.
Truly amazing. Those making the most noise about being Anglican couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the very definition of Anglicanism in Australia as a unifying concept.
Which let inevitably to the event that produced the most read article of 2022…
The Diocese of the Southern Cross was birthed in Canberra at this key conference. A number of months after the events of General Synod it was now clear that revisionists in the Anglican Church of Australia would not stop and so an alternative option was needed for faithful Anglicans who could no longer remain under the authority of heterodox bishops. As the Chair of GAFCON Australia, Bishop Richard Condie, put it:
This walking away from the scriptures and the ridiculing of those who uphold them as we have seen in some presidential addresses by bishops in Australian Synods this year, IS the crisis, it IS the emergency to which we must respond.
A weighty response to a critical moment for the Anglican Church of Australia.
No doubt there will be more in 2023. And other things besides. I’ll keep writing here as I’m able.
Thank you to all my readers and commenters for your input in 2022. What would you like to see in 2023? I have a few plans of my own but keen to hear what you think may happen and what I ought to be looking at.