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Like the House of Bishops, Setting Christian Living on Their Own Terms
titusonenine ^ | 4/14/2005 | Kendall Harmon

Posted on 04/14/2005 11:59:16 AM PDT by sionnsar

I have a slew of emails asking what I think about the Executive Council statement today. I begin by noting that what is important is what the International Anglican leadership thinks.

Let us recall what the Primates actually said in Newry in February:

“14. Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report and in order to recognise the integrity of all parties, we request that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference. During that same period we request that both churches respond through their relevant constitutional bodies to the questions specifically addressed to them in the Windsor Report as they consider their place within the Anglican Communion.”

Note the language carefully: withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference. I take the word withdraw here to mean what the dictionary says–to “remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, taking off, etc. or remove something abstract; “remove a threat"; “remove a wrapper"; “Remove the dirty dishes from the table"; “take the gun from your pocket"…[to]retire gracefully; “He bowed out when he realized he could no longer handle the demands of the chairmanship” [synonym: bow out].”

So the request is not to bow out of a meeting but to bow out of membership, for a temporary period, to promote healing and repentance. As Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said at the Press Conference in Newry sometimes we hear one another better at a distance.

The Executive Council said ECUSA’s ACC representatives will OFFICIALLY withdraw from this meeting but will still be present, just not in their chairs. Also, they did NOT in any way withdraw their membership. In other words, whereas the distance sought was withdrawal of membership until Lambeth 2008, the Executive Council said they will be present at the meeting simply in a different part of the room.

You request distance, they are saying, you can have distance, we will move, BUT ONLY ON OUR TERMS.

If you think you have seen this pattern before, you have. It is exactly what the House of Bishops did at their recent meeting in Texas, they did not do what they were asked, but they sought to respond based on their own terms and timetable.

Think about something as simple as a marriage in this regard. My wife asks me to do something, like help her on the taxes. I say, certainly, but not until next week, and only under conditions a, b, c and d. How do you think that would go over?

Now reread Philippians 2:

“3: Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
4: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8: And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11: and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Executive Council has not acted this way, and one is permitted the suspicion that American arrogance is hiding beneath the surface here. Lord, have mercy.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: acc; angpost4; ecusa

1 posted on 04/14/2005 11:59:21 AM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 04/14/2005 11:59:55 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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