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September 19, 2007


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On the AEC blog too :-)

The Hawk

These consecrations are regrettable. I fear that they were premature, especially as a signal of despair in the Abp. of Canterbury, the Anglican Covenant Process, the Primates' Meeting and Lambeth 2008. They also seem to represent a gross impatience (unwillingness to suffer and to wait). The elevating of superstar conservative operatives to a ministry not really as a Bishop in the Church of God but as a symbol and token of encouragement and offense is a mistake in my mind. The idea that what is needed right now is more bishops represents a common mistake of blaming it all on bishops and looking for salvation in and from bishops. This kind of episcopalianism is not helpful.
Finally, it appears that the conservative movement in the USA has fragmented on the basis of personalities and pride. The motto of most continuing Anglican bodies seems to be Everybody a Bishop, the Epsicopacy of the Whole People of God. It may or may not be premature to jump into the lifeboats, but when you look down and see five people fighting over who is going to captain the lifeboat, and people abdandoning the lifeboat, you begin to think that you may just stay onboard. More and more I think like Dido, "I will go down with this ship!"


The recent letter from the Zacchaeus Fellowship which Joe posted makes an interesting point. Both North American Anglicanism and African Anglicanism seem to be going out of their way to reinforce the values of their own societies. In North America, we get the ridiculous statement from Integrity Canada that since gay marriage is now legal in Canada we'll look out of touch and irrelevant if we don't go along with it. But in Africa we see the bishops bending over backwards to support the draconian anti-gay laws of their countries and harping on about homosexuality being 'against African culture'.

I think there's a deeper question here. The system is perfectly designed to produce the result we're getting. Anglicanism as we have received it has produced this mess. What is it about Anglicanism that leads to this? I think it's our historic Erastianism, the idea that we are by nature a state church which is responsible to be a good citizen, shore up the monarchy and the government, pray for the soldiers in time of war, be a good chaplain to the values of society, offer a little prayer when a little prayer is called for, and so on. Like it or not, that's our history, and it's in our DNA (all you need to do is read the Book of Common Prayer to see that).

So why would I separate and join another branch which has the same Christendom toxins in its system? No thanks - I'll stick with the ship I'm in and work to spread the idea that the church is called to be a distinct society, and that it is its glory, and not an embarrassment, to be different from the world and to speak a prophetic word to the world.

Rant over!

The Hawk

Tim, well said! The inability of both the liberal west and the global south parts of the Anglican Communion to express a distinctly christian sexual morality which is distinct, critical and sympathetic in relation to their own culture does not bode well. There is also a spirit of anarchy which extends far and wide, even to me.
At the same time I'm not sure that all the rejoicing over the end of Christendom is so wise and what many mistake for a Christendom/Erastian model in the BCP reflects a common thread of the Old and New Testament about the relation of the Providence of God and the Rulers of the earth.
I had better go, off to the Legion meeting, followed by an Opening Prayer at City Hall, a dedication of a new Hospital Wing, and presenting Religion in Life badges to Scouts and Guides...someone has to chaplain the establsihment! :)

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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