Monday, December 19, 2011

Covenant 6 - No Covenant 1

Faithful readers here know that the ADU view on the Covenant is that it needs very high support to work (say, minimum 80%, better 90%, ideal 98% in favour). 60% support or lower would be dead in the water stuff; 61%-79% could be terminally ill.

So what is the current count? I had not been counting up. But Mark Harris, bless him, has done the job for me at Preludium. It's 6-1 in favour.


Of course someone here will remind that my church is almost certainly going to say 'No' so that would be 6-2.

But that would be to reckon without my sunny, cheerful optimism, my 'it ain't over till it's over' and 'has anyone seen the fat lady singing' spirit. I shall wait until the carrier pigeon comes back from Suva in 2012 to tell me the actual General Synod vote before I yield on whether it will be 6-2 rather than 7-1.

'Cos here is the thing. Suppose by July 2012 when our GS meets the score is 12-1. Might that make our reps think twice about whether to go with the wave of the Spirit or resist it? To yield to the rangatiratanga of Christ or not?

Watch this space. Do not look away.


Father Ron Smith said...

I don't know about the fat lady, Peter, but I do know another saying "Pride comes before a Fall"

I still remember Abp. Bobby in ACNA confidently forecasting great gains for his schismatic fellowship - before the Courts re-appropriated the Family Silver for TEC. Haven't heard much from him lately, I wonder why?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
You are not pouring water on my unabated optimism are you? And at Christmas time too!

As for ++Bob Duncan: I should think he is faithful going about his mission, quietly thankful for Sudan's recognition of ACNA.

Andrew Reid said...

Come on Peter, you know better than equating majority voice with the "wave of the Spirit". I admire your optimism, but remind you that it's not just a numbers game. If the CofE rejects it for example, then the whole game is up regardless of what anyone else does. Likewise if larger provinces like TEC, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, and Kenya reject it, then even if all the other provinces approved it, it would still have questionable legitimacy.
Here are some churches you can mark down now as dead set certainties to oppose the Covenant, from the "preserving autonomy" group and the "already signed up with GAFCON" group.
- TEC, Canada
- Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Southern Cone, West Africa, Tanzania
You could make a Mitt Romney $10K bet on those.

In the likely to oppose category, I would add:
- Aotearoa, NZ & Polynesia, Australia, Sudan

Having said all that, I was pleased that PNG offered a considered, Biblically based statement on their support for the covenant, which is more than many others (supporters and rejecters) have done.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrew,
I am afraid it will take more than that to rain on my parade of optimism. You do not yet know what that wave of the Spirit might yet do at GC 2012, so I would count any unhatched chickens before their eggs are stolen.

You strike me as somewhat negative here ... the kind of person who, say, when told the All Blacks had won an important game by 1 point, harped one about how close they had come to losing.

Chin up!


Father Ron Smith said...

It is telling Peter that you only believe - from your posting here - that the Holy Spirit could back the Covenant. I sometimes wonder at your certainty on the direction of the Holy spirit in the Communion. This was one of the problems of your friend Archbishop Robert Duncan. He tried to predict what might the Holy Spirit might have to say about schismatic action in the Church.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Every Christian may be sure that the Spirit is at work when the truth revealed in Scripture is illuminated and expounded in a manner not repugnant to what is found elsewhere in Scripture; also when the movement of life within the church is towards unity and towards deeper fellowship between believers (see, e.g. Philippians, especially chapter 2).

++Bob Duncan is, I am sure, alive and alert to these truths of the Spirit's action; thus we may expect him to uphold truth revealed in Scripture and to work on Christian unity.

I understand his breakaway action from the institutional church known as TEC to result from a conviction about what is true and what is false in the church; I understand his continuing work to maintain fellowship with fellow Anglicans to be a work towards Christian unity.

You may have no doubt that ++Bob Duncan would like nothing better than to find that TEC had repented of its unScriptural beliefs and renewed its Communion with faithful Anglicans around the world.

Mark Baddeley said...

I think Australia could be moved over into the 'almost certain to reject' camp. Those who were at General Synod and part of the motion to have the can kicked down the road told me that there were sufficient numbers to have rejected it outright. Something fairly drastic would have to happen for Australia to sign up to it, I think. Sydney's rejection of the covenant is echoed in enough other quarters with other theological outlooks that it's pretty much a non-starter in Oz.

Peter Carrell said...

So, Andrew, Mark, Ron,

There are dark rain clouds gathering, threatening to dampen my enthusiasm :)

I get that!

But currently the "score" is 6-1 and my fingers are as tightly crossed as my tongue is firmly in my cheek.

Mark Harris said...

Dear firmly-in-cheek. You are an optimist. Good for you. So am I. Our reason for optimism has, I think, little or nothing to do with the score card which you picked up from me. The reversal of that can happen quickly and the No Anglican Covenant people have been generous to a fault, only putting a "No" where it was absolutely clear there was one. But I think Andrew has it about right.

No, if you are optimistic because of those figures or others, it is a mistake. Just as my optimism is equally unjustified by numbers.

It is your next post on "Flesh becomes Word" and perhaps my meditation over on Preludium that is the source of optimism. We are grounded in this "Jesus is Lord - God with us" claim, not who does and who does not sign the AC.

Be filled with perpetual wonder and let the cards fall where they may. Here in my parish we will pray for all of us that God might be born also in us, and I am sure you will pray the same. The good thing about the Incarnation is once it is a done deal in the world, it will eventually be all in all.

Now there is optimism for you. As for the Anglican Covenant, a source of some happiness for some, perhaps, and not for others. But in the end we will move on.

Blessed Christmas to you. One day we will meet, I hope, in the flesh as it were.

Father Ron Smith said...

I do admire your tenacity in clinging to the belief that 'Archbishop' Robert Duncan, in his schismatic movement away from Unity with TEC, is somehow working towards the Unity of the Body of Christ. I see that as somewhat schizophrenic. But then, we all have our blind spots!

I still do question, Peter, your certitude that TEC is outside of the influence of the Holy Spirit, in its discernment of God's desire for Unity in Diversity. After all, God created that diversity. Or do you persist in believing that, in some strange way, God did not create LGBT persons in the divine Image and Likeness? If so, probably nothing I can say will ever convince you of this undeniable fact.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Mark,
Christmas best wishes to you!
Yes, I shall, in reality, be realistic in my optimism.
And one day, I might journey to America. I will be sure to call if on your seaboard.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I do not equate the Spirit moving towards Covenantal Communion as the Spirit is not at work in TEC.

TEC is a large, widespread, and diverse church and I am sure the Spirit is at work in it. The question of discernment is whether the Spirit is at work in ways claimed by some and denied by others. A similar question arises in the life of our church. For instance, being frank, when I hear some aspects of Maori gods being attended to in Maori liturgy, I have a question (or two). I hope in both churches it is permissible to have debate about claims to the working of the Spirit.

As for being made in the image of God: every human being is 'in Adam' and made in the image of God, but we are all flawed in one manner or another. Those flaws may be part of the image of God within, or they may not. I think that is a fair thing to discuss. In respect of sexual desire I would hope that it is a fair thing to discuss what sexual desires within us might be discerned as commensurate with being made in the image of God what might not. I assume, for instance, that despite some disagreements between you and me, we might agree that desire for sex with children is not 'in the image of God'. If we may discuss such things then I suggest that invoking talk of 'image of God' does not particularly take discernment forward of what is right and what is wrong.

I am trying to make careful distinctions here. Please do not charge me with a general statement about 'LGBT persons' not being created in the image of God. We are all created in the image of God; we are all flawed to one degree and another; and we all stand in need of the redeeming work of Christ Jesus.

hogster said...

Time will tell. History has a way of sorting these things out. Remember the Donatists. "we are the church. We are the church" Wrong.

Lets see where Revisonism takes us and how it is viewed in the annals of history and the purposes of the Spirit.

Christmas blessings to all.

Father Ron Smith said...

Those Donatists sound very much like the present-day ACNA. So sure they're right and everyone else, wrong!
Lord have mercy on us all.