Friday, July 18, 2008
More on Anglican Debates
I for one was most perplexed and stunned that a document commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury and written by the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and given to delegates of the current Lambeth Conference made it apparent that bishops who have transgressed diocesan and provincial boundaries in search of "orthodox" primatial oversight are considered guilty of undermining collegiality. An even worse sin, it is suggested, was boycotting the Lambeth conference. Now I am a moderate evangelical and I am genuinely trying to empathize with the good Archbishop's plight caught as he is between a rock and a hard place, but that kind of stuff just really ticks me off. Who started the whole "jolly" thing? Who defied the corporate will of the communion by deliberately flouting Lambeth resolution 1.10? Are the structures of the Church more important than the Church's message? Can unity exist in the absence of a basic creedal unity? Why are the Americans at Lambeth but the Africans are not?
Fortunately my discontent was placated by reading: (1) The GAFCON primates' counter-response to the Archbishop of Canterbury's response to their Jerusalem conference; (2) Their response also to St. Andrews draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant.
I have to say that with Anglican politics who needs Soap Opera or even American Politics - this is far more interesting - so we can wait with optimism on the outcome of Lambeth and see if the dialogue and discussion really will bring a closer bond of unity between the provinces and promote confidence building measures. But with over 25% of the worldwide bishops absent from the global south it might be too little too late and only benefit those already converted to the Archbishop's side. More important is whether Rowan Williams is willing to extend an olive branch to the GAFCON primates which might be a better option for reconciliation and unity than Lambeth. I hope so!