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Lord Carey's Speech: The Blackness Just Got Much Much Darker and Thicker
Stand Firm ^ | 2/08/2007 | Sarah Hey

Posted on 02/09/2007 6:03:46 PM PST by sionnsar

Duke Divinity School recently had former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to speak and the text of his talk makes for some stimulating reading.

My favorite passage is this epic view of the progress of Anglicanism around the globe:

"The 16th century English Church was profoundly shaken by the break with Rome, the martyrdom of scores of Protestants and Catholics, the dissolution of the monasteries, the rapid acceleration of the reformation under Edward and a bloody counter-reformation under Mary, before the throne turned to Elizabeth who restored an equilibrium.

Yet even then the Reformation wasn’t complete and in the following century the country was consumed by civil war, and a continual tug-of-war between protestant or puritan and catholic elements for power and control. Let us not forget that the mediaeval Becket was not the only Archbishop of Canterbury to die violently – Laud, whose devotion to the King and to what now might be called Anglo-Catholic piety and devotion, not only expedited hundreds of protestants to seek freedom in the colony known as America, but also suffered the same fate. Thankfully, the fate of modern-day successors to that ancient office has been more figurative than actual, martyrdom is usually at the hands of the British media – which, however savage, at least allows you to keep your head after ascending the gallows!

The theme of ‘conflict’ which has brought about the emergence of an Anglican settlement in England, continued throughout the spread of the Church of England as a result of Imperial and missionary expansionism to the New World and British dominions in Asia and Africa. At the beginning of the last century the shape of an ‘Anglican Communion’ was beginning to emerge as it spread outwards to the United States, to Canada, to India, to China, to Africa, to South America and many other places beside. It would have been this kind of development that the Wesley brothers would have noticed. Or course, it was recognisably British to begin with, with English hymns and the Book of Common Prayer as the universal language of prayer.
But by the middle of the 19th century things were changing. It is very significant that the cry to hold the First Lambeth Conference did not arise from within England but from the colonies. The impetus for it came from a dispute in South Africa where Bishop Colenso had fallen out with Archbishop Frank Gray for promoting advanced ideas about the Old Testament. The Canadian Bishops wrote to Archbishop Longley asking him to convene a meeting of all Bishops to respond to this and other matters of common concern. The Archbishop sought the advice of his English colleagues. Some were firmly against the idea and when that first Lambeth Conference met in 1867 the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of London absented themselves."

There is so much that is good in this talk. I especially appreciate the epic scope of Anglican history that Archbishop Carey articulates. In the US we are used to hearing "historic" articulations like this: "The Anglican church has always been about unity in diversity, inclusion, listening processes, and the via media between broad-minded progressives and fundamentalists."

It's refreshing to hear the details with which Carey is so familiar, and our own bishops . . . apparently not so much.

But there are several principles in this speech that make me believe that the Anglican Communion is probably lost forever. If these principles are what guide an evangelical "conservative" former Archbishop of Canterbury, then I do not believe that there is any hope left. I understand that, to the left, Archbishop Carey is a terrible right-wing fanatic with horns; and to many conservatives in ECUSA he represents a terrible failure in not acting decisively when there was an actual hope of heading this off -- he did not act decisively and here we are today. So, sadly, he will never please many Anglicans on both sides in the US . . . It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for him. But still, his inability to recognize the depth of the divide which is over the nature of the gospel is tragic, tragic, tragic.

Two quotes from the talk illustrate what I mean:

"One possible future for a minority will sadly be to leave the Communion altogether. In America some of the most faithful clergy and most able laypeople have already departed and more are likely to follow. They are leaving out of despair. They feel they are not heeded, valued or respected."

Archbishop Carey is incorrect in his reasons why faithful Episcopalians have left. It is not because of their hurt feelings, because they were not sufficiently affirmed or "heeded, valued or respected". It is because they do not believe that one side of the "debate" preaches or believes the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, one side of the debate is touting a different religion from Christianity. In all conscience they are unable to remain a part of a denomination/church that is no longer believes the Christian faith at its highest -- or even its mid-level -- leadership. They see the Episcopal church -- and increasingly the Anglican Communion, in its delay at dealing with the gross, rank heresy -- as a corrupt, vile body with which they wish to have nothing at all to do -- no connection, no interest. It's not a matter of the "people in the pew", the clergy, the bishop in their diocese, or whatever -- it's the entire ghastly anti-Christian denomination.

I am certain that Archbishop Carey will never read my words. And I am saddened to realize that, after so many conversations with reasserters, he is constitutionally unable to recognize what I have just said about why people are leaving -- and will continue to leave every week. Even if I were face to face with him, I believe he would simply smile and say "we need to be patient", not understanding that if one is a Christian, and believes one to be horribly and mistakenly involved with a non-Christian denomination, one is not "patient" -- one leaves.

Another example of this attitude is in this remark:

"The duty of leaders is to stay at the table, contributing to the debate as long as it takes. The imperative of unity in fact requires all Anglican leaders to desist from threats to withdraw, or refusing to talk to others."

Those Anglican leaders who do not believe that certain other Anglican leaders believe the gospel find it utterly useless to dialogue with those Anglican leaders, unless one approaches it like an ecumenical dialogue between, say, Christian and Wiccan, or Christian and Islam.

But when one is "dialoguing" with someone who has beliefs so antithetical to the Christian gospel -- the equivalent of a shaman or Islamic cleric -- *at the primates meeting*, one surely sees the ludicrousness of a statement like "stay at the table, contributing to the debate as long as it takes".

In fact, the Global South primates, as well as many in ECUSA, seem to be in the process of discovering whether the Anglican Communion will acknowledge and recognize and discipline the gross heresy of ECUSA -- or not. If not, then I suspect that many who are currently within the Anglican Communion will realize that there membership within the Anglican Communion is a terrible mistake as well, since these people would like to be a part of a Christian body. They will then leave the entity to which they have mistakenly belonged and create one where people believe and proclaim the Christian gospel, without allowing people of a different religion entirely to be a leader within it. Right now, again, I suspect that leaders are carefully discerning whether they are rightly within -- or rightly without -- this Anglican body. As a matter of integrity, of course one should not be a member of an organization, entity, religious institution, or body if that body holds core, foundational beliefs antithetical to one's own.

That is the sort of discernment that I, a lay peon, am engaged in as well -- whether the Anglican Communion is a Christian body or, generally, not intending to be one at all.

Because he is a Christian, an evangelical, a good and faithful man, a person that I respect very deeply, the fact that Archbishop Carey does not recognize that we are dealing with two different and antithetical religions in one religious communion is the single most demoralizing fact that I, a Windsor-loving, Communion conservative, have experienced over the past three years.

Bar none.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 02/09/2007 6:03:48 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; ..
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 02/09/2007 6:04:23 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar
...the fact that Archbishop Carey does not recognize...

Does not recognize, or does recognize but is unable or unwilling to stop speaking in euphamisms?

3 posted on 02/09/2007 8:02:17 PM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: Huber

Cannot say. I believe I'd left PECUSA and the wwAC before his term began, and he was gone by the time Arlin Adams reintroduced me to what was going on in ECUSA now TEC. I do not know him at all.

4 posted on 02/09/2007 8:04:59 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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