Skip to comments.Thanks But No Thanks [no to withdrawal from the ACC]
Posted on 03/15/2005 7:42:06 AM PST by sionnsar
Toronto Anglican Bishop Colin Johnson is sorry but he's just not down with the whole "Canada and the US withdrawing from the ACC" idea:
I am disappointed that the Canadian and American churches have been asked to voluntarily withdraw their representatives on ACC. It is the only "Instrument of Unity" that includes clergy and laity as well as bishops. I am especially concerned because I think that conversations to resolve contentious issues need to include those who do not agree. It is important for full discussion to have all the voices present at the table, including those that represent the Christian experience of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We have an important part to play in this because in many parts of the world, such conversations have only just begun, and in other places, they are impossible because homosexuality is illegal.
Not that the ACC matters in the slightest, mind you.
For Anglicans, statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the ACC and Primates Meeting are not binding but thoughtful recommendations, persuasive because they represent the considered thinking of senior representatives of the worldwide church. But they carry weight only as they are received and adopted by the individual provinces. They do not govern our church.
What does? What makes an Anglican an Anglican?
What binds us together, however, is not governing bodies but a wide network of relationships. We have roots in common prayer, a shared tradition, mutual affection, tangible support and common interests that transcend boundaries. Canadian Anglicans are key contributors of volunteers, staff, expertise and money to partnerships in mission, theological commissions, international co-ordinating committees, companion dioceses, ecumenical dialogues, development projects and emergency relief.
Relentless yammering, in other words.
These bonds of "mutual affection" have been seriously strained, even to the threat of breaking, by very different understandings of authority, theological and biblical interpretation and ecclesiology (how the church is understood, organized and governed) that have found an intense focus in our day on issues of human sexuality.
Actually, C, the thing that seriously strained those
bongs bonds of mutual affection was when you and the Americans torpedoed 2,000 years of Christian teaching because the secular culture wanted you to. The fact that you all got to feel that warm, toasty, civil-rights-liberal high once again was just icing on the cake. So knock off the griswolding.
This is not an exclusively North American issue but one that is experienced in different ways in different cultural contexts across our world. We need to hear about their experience and understanding, and they ours, if we are truly to understand each other, even if we do not come to agreement.
Nobody needs to hear about anybody's "experience," C. Adultery, murder and other sins are sins regardless of their "contexts." What the world desperately needs, C, is to know what the Word of God says. And people need to live their lives, as best they can, by its precepts knowing that when they fail, and they will, God is faithful and just to forgive their sins since Christ paid for them on the Cross. All of them. Even homosexual activity.
There is no unanimity even here. But in a church that was historically formed in, and still highly values, tolerance and diversity, I do not think unanimity is either realistic or even desirable.
Especially when our minds are already made up since, if we admit that we were wrong and change our minds, homosexuals will get mad at us and call us fundies and stuff.
That said, we need to create a sense that we belong to one another even if we quite strongly disagree.
"We" don't need to do anything at all, C. You and the Americans do. You need to demonstrate to the rest of the Anglican world why you should be permitted to ignore Christian and Anglican teaching and still call yourselves "apostolic."
Real care needs to be taken to recognize that positions other than our own may be valid, not in the sense that we necessarily think they are correct but that we recognize the people who hold them are acting not out of malice but with the same degree of integrity that we espouse and are also seeking Gods truth.
I respect the fact that people who are thoughtful, caring, prayerful practising Anglicans are struggling with these issues, praying, studying, and coming to different conclusions. The Primates or even the majority of bishops gathered at Lambeth cannot simply curtail that discernment process.
Translation: we all need to keep talking until Third World and western conservative Anglicans realize what stupid evil bigots they are.
Taking this along with what you posted yesterday, would it be fair to say that the heretics are coming to a consensus that they're going to the ACC all guns a'blazin'? In other words, they are going to send fully-credentialed delegates?
sitetest, I really do not know yet. All we are hearing are the loud ones; the ones who would stay away are not being heard from. I have no good idea yet if these voices represent just a few, a few but very influential, or the majority.
I think the picture will develop more clearly over the next couple of months.
Oh, I thought this was an article about Duke...
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) joke.
No worry, Buck; I got it! And giggled. (But then again, I'm a Blue Devil.)
...and I'm a Tar Heel (grad school, anyway)!
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