Monday, May 28, 2012

Of diocesan duties, deadlines, and disagreements

Light posting over the next two weeks. Diocesan duties must be fulfilled. Certain deadlines re funding applications are fast approaching.

We are in the midst of another swarm of earthquakes, though nothing higher than 5.2.

Question on my mind: how do we Anglicans live with, through and beyond our disagreements?

To observe some reactions (e.g. Andrew Brown) to the bishops of the Church of England doing their best to retain disagreements within the one church, one might have thought some great change to catholic doctrine had been proposed, such as a change to the understanding of marriage, or the loosening of commitment to creedal beliefs such as the incarnation, atonement or resurrection, or, indeed, a lessening of desire to be one church holding as many people as possible within it. To say nothing of the novelty of introducing an Anglican Covenant. Forfend that such novelties should be introduced to the Church of We Have Never Done It That Way Before. (Or is it the Church of We Believe In Bishops Except When They Decide To Do Something We Do Not Agree With? I am confused).

Can we Anglicans ever find a way to agree on how we handle our disagreements?

On that little conundrum I leave you. I shall try to post any comments solving it as often as I can!

6 comments:

Claudia said...

You're comparing the disagreements among Anglicans to a swarm of earthquakes... why do I get the feeling that they're just as unstoppable as each other?

Father Ron Smith said...

'Can we Anglicans ever find a way to agree on how we handle our disagreements?' - Peter Carrell -

Not while we have entities that opt out of fellowship (schism) - like ACNA & the GAFCON Primates. Unity need a willingness to stay together.

Bryden Black said...

“Unity needs a willingness to stay together.” Yes, Ron, it does; but unity also requires more than just willingness. Being the creatures we are and thereafter the Christians we are as redeemed humans, we also require reasons, those things that undergird and justify/rationalize/legitimate such a will. Another word for such practical reason is “authority”.

And it is right here that we reach the reason (sic) for our current Anglican dilemmas: it is a crisis of authority. Built into that word is the word “author”: which is to say, what is/are the sources of our ideas and practices, behaviours and beliefs?

Having expunged the notion of the Anglican Covenant, we - at least in the Diocese of Chc, and probably our imminent GS as well - have little now by which to recognise authoritatively such “willingness” among ourselves, in order to establish it upon firm enough grounds. For how might we “recognise” authentic Anglican Christian Faith among ourselves? Our willing consent requires an anchor. Whose/what anchor will now hold?

Shawn said...

The problem is not, as Ron claims, entities like ACNA or GAFCON. Those enetities became necessary when a minority of extremist liberals decided to rend the unity of the Church by proceeding with radical changes to the teaching of the Church on marriage and sexuality, and in doing so made it impossible for faithful Anglicans to continue under leadership which had abandoned the authority of Scripture for the false authority of political liberalism.

Can we find a way to agree on how to handle our disagreements? Probably not. At the end of the day the essential faultline is not between two interpretations of Christian teaching, but between a minimalist Anglican orthodoxy which can include traditionlists and evangelicals, high church and low church, and the false religion of liberalism, which is totalitarian in nature and will not rest until every part of the Church has surrendered to its demands.

Until the cancer of liberalism has been eliminated from the Church, conflict is inevitable.

Tim Chesterton said...

We will,probably not find a way to have unity until we stop pointing fingers at,the other guy and saying "it's his fault! Be broke it!" (which of course absolves us of the responsibility of doing anything, and in particular of sacrificing any part of our personal agenda, in order to preserve the unity of the Spirit).

Anonymous said...

Yes, Peter, you are confused.

It has long been clear that You Believe In Bishops Except When They Decide To Do Something You Do Not Agree With.

Alison