The meaning of listening

I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this one, but I’d like to at least make the point.

Many of those on the liberal side of our Anglican culture wars complain about not being listened to – that we will not hear their arguments and experiences (in particular listening to the experiences of GBLT Christians).  The reality often is that they have been listened to, and the arguments found wanting. Anyway, that’s a whole topic in itself.

The point I want to make is that listening, talking and dialogue to liberals often appear to be verbs with a one-way direction.  What they actually mean by them is that you will listen to us.  I have seen that happen multiple times on this site:

When a conservative commenter makes arguments that cut a little too close to the bone they are asked to leave, or just have comments deleted.  Note that this is not deletion due to discourtesy, it’s simply due to thoughtcrimes.  Apparently some liberal ears are too delicate to hear conservative thoughts. Should you believe that, you’ll believe anything.  See this: as the latest example.

Fr Jake can do what he likes with his own site; I have no complaints there.  However, those actions reveal the hypocrisy behind the whole ‘listening’ thing.

Well anyway, I’ve had my rant.  Back to posting what I really wanted to post today….

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7 Responses to The meaning of listening

  1. Grace says:

    Hey, Peter,

    I’m the first to comment on this one. I think Fr. Jakes considers his site to be a special ministry and a safe place for many of the people who dialogue there. But, I bet if you knew him personally, he would dialogue and talk at length.

    I’m not really liberal theologically. I’m othodox and evangelical in the faith, but also very much gay affirming. I’m zealous for the gospel, and do not want the GLBT to in any way feel excluded from the body of Christ.


  2. Peter says:

    Hi Grace,

    I think I got a good idea where you are coming from from reading what you write on Jakes site. I think you are probably one of the most graceful there 🙂

    I agree with you – none of us should be about excluding others. However, and this is where I think the difference will be between many of Jakes commenters and me, I do not think GBLT is a state blessed by God. Rather, I would consider those types of behaviour disordered.

    I understand what Jake has said, although it doesn’t appear to me that all of his commentators share his viewpoint.




  3. Grace says:

    Hi, again, Peter,

    How have you come to your view that GLBT people are all involved in disordered behavoir? Are you open to talking about this? Also, do you feel you church should divide concerning this one issue?

    And, thanks for your kind words!! 🙂


  4. Peter says:

    No problem in talking about this Grace. The only thing would be time limitations what with family etc 🙂

    I should say that I do not think that the whole ‘gay issue’ is really the issue that the church is dividing on. Rather I think that this is the presenting issue of a deeper problem. The deeper problem is really about sharing the same faith, and not reinventing christianity to make it what we would like it to be. Of course, I know this is a generalisation, but it not a point without merit. Indeed, I have seen you take up the orthodoxy argument with some folks on Jakes site.

    Now, I know Jake and others will protest their innocence, claiming the creeds etc etc. However, words can be made to mean many different things and what on the surface can be an expression of orthodox christian thought can on scratching the surface prove to be anything but.

    Probably better than me trying to explain the complexities of this convoluted mess, it might be good to read some of Matt Kennedy’s recent articles on Stand Firm, the latest of which is here: and all the previous related articles on the Stand Firm site. In them he rebuts an article written here:


  5. Grace says:

    I know what you’re saying, Peter. And, I have had some discussion with Fr. Matt concerning some of these issues. But, I think there is a real diversity in the church.

    I can honestly tell you that I am truly orthodox, and evangelical in the faith, but also gay affirming.

    I guess this is a pretty complex issue to discuss here, but I’ll keep in touch via your blog, and maybe from time to time we can talk. I appreciate all your sharing Peter. And, I definitely understand about time restraints. (I basically take care of about a dozen kids. Yikes!!)

    God bless, Peter.


  6. Peter says:

    A dozen! 4 is enough for me, heh.




  7. Pingback: CaNN :: We started it.

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