Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dan Graves on Healing Prayer and Flame Wars

Here is a short video made as part of the National Church's Vision 2019 project. The Rev'd Dan Graves talks briefly about his new book with healing prayers and the work of the Anglican Book Centre is doing that sort of mission. I'm posting it here mostly because I know Dan, but I'll also use it to say that our Diocese needs to be making little videos like this! It also helps set the stage for Dan's latest post.

After the Vision 2019 project was put on the web, Dan noticed that the responses to project were mixed. Many people had constructive comments, but some were downright nasty. In particular, some of the responders resorted to name-calling ("so-called bishops" "apostates" "work of Satan" etc.) He decided to respond in order to defend the Archbishop's gracious effort at working on vision, which naturally started a flame war!

Oh man, flame wars! Who hasn't gotten sucked into one of those? But as Dan points out, the people arguing with him in the back-and-forth comments weren't discussing the underlying issue at all, but rather simply shutting down discussion with inflammatory name-calling that does no one any good. Naturally, his foes considered his call to civility to be an abandonment of the righteous zeal of the truth-tellers.
For the record, at no point did I engage Mr. Wirrell on whether or not I "stand on the Word." My blog posts and sermons are a matter of the public record. Should they choose to judge me they can do so from my published writing, but not from this red herring of a debate. No, Mr. Muirhead, this was not a "classic conversation between two parties of Anglicanism in Canada... one concerned with manners and the other with the Word." There was really no debate here, simply an unwillingness on the part of Mr. Wirrell to use the kind of temperate language that makes debate even possible. I stand by my original point that constructive dialogue is characterized by a graciousness of language. If there are those that count me as condemned or apostate for the use of good manner, then so be it. At least my mother will be proud. (source)

The irony is that this is Dan Graves we are talking about, who is about the most polite priest I know. I wonder whether it is his very politeness, his very interest in real reconciliation, that bothers the zealots who went to go to the mattresses online. Hmmm....



Felicity Pickup said...

Oops!Watch out for that word "zealot" Tay. On the other hand, you likely are using it with forethought and accuracy. Thanks for the video and links.

Tay Moss said...

well, I don't think "zealot" is pejorative, is it? Hmm. Maybe it is. Ok, I'll edit it.

Tay Moss said...

Actually, I was describing the "righteous zeal of the truth-tellers," which seems to me descriptive and non-pejorative, as I would use it describe people whether I agreed with them or not. Nothing wrong with zeal!

The Rev. Daniel Francis Graves said...

I'm rather zealous about being polite. Thanks for your interest, Tay!


handmaiden of the Lord said...

Great blog...there's no reason why a debate/discussion must use unkind words when speaking with and/or about each other.

Have a lovely day.