"Deep conviction is entirely creditable. But dogmatic adherence to policy issues is not realistic. You can’t even bring up kids on that basis. I don’t think you can even buy a car on that basis. People of deep convictions can afford to compromise. People of shallow convictions are terrified of compromise, because they will consider that to compromise is to betray. Well, if you’ve got deep convictions, you know damn well it isn’t. You know that compromise is a means of getting to the next stage, a bit closer to what you originally wanted to do. It’s called parliamentary democracy." (Neil Kinnock, former leader, British Labour Party, speaking about the current turmoil around leader Jeremy Corbyn.)
People of deep convictions can afford to compromise. At the core of my suggested way forward (in draft form here through this series of posts, open to change through your comments ... before I finally post to the Archbishops) is this presupposition: ACANZP is divided on the matter of blessing of same-sex relationships. It can stay together if there is compromise. It must divide if there is not.
Also at the core is the possibility that we might be a church, on this matter at least, in which we are not of one mind. Over the past few days the United Reform Church in England and Wales (URC) has agreed that its local churches may choose to conduct and register marriages for same-sex couples. In Thinking Anglicans' post on the matter, I note the following sentence,
"It has long been clear that the denomination cannot express a single view on the issue of same-sex marriage."
I think that is pretty clear for ACANZP also. We are not of one mind on either blessing of same-sex relationships nor on conduct of same-sex marriages within our churches. Among us are those who would affirm the thesis of this article and those who would reject it. We have, however, declared we are of one mind in upholding the traditional understanding of marriage (as expressed in our liturgies and canons) and that means that, unlike the URC, the focus here is on blessing of same-sex relationships rather than conduct of same-sex marriages.
So, the questions I am seeking to answer in this series of posts include
"How might those in ACANZP with strong convictions arrive at an agreed compromise?" and
"How might we give expression in the structures (and, concomitantly, canons and liturgies) of our church to our inability to express a single view on same-sex relationships?"