Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Bonds of affection" Anglicans need to wake up

Out today is a series of things to read, mark, inwardly digest and then act upon concerning the Covenant and related things. I intend to post on them in the days before Christmas, the feast of the turning from the old covenant to the new!

First is the text of the final draft of the Covenant; second is a helpful comparative text for the previous Section Four and the new Section Four (plus a commentary on revised S4 here); third is an intro to this new stage in the journey towards a Covenant by none other than ++Rowan himself, text or video; and fourth is the urging of gracious constraint re the election of Mary Glasspool by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

For an edgy commentary on the situation, try Christopher Johnson, and for a longer, reflective commentary try Anglican Curmudgeon.

Here is an initial thought from me: Glynn Cardy making the worldwide news for being provocative - offending other Christians and pushing a theological position which feels closer to atheism than to theism, is bad news for those Anglicans who constantly tell us the Covenant is a bad idea and the "bonds of affection" will hold us together just fine. Those "bonds of affection" Anglicans need to wake up fast and tell us why theistic Anglicans and a-theistic or quasi-atheistic Anglicans should commune at the same table. If they cannot do this satisfactorily then they need to tell us how "bonds of affection" will bring about greater theological coherence in the Communion.

While they think about how they do that they might think about these features of Anglicanism represented in the Cardy debacle: lack of concern for Christians of other denominations; defiance of the local diocesan bishop; willingness to bring diocese and province into disrepute; denial of basic doctrines and practices of the church. If this is 'acceptable Anglicanism' some Anglicans (including me) need some kind of explanation as to why this is a 'good thing'! If it is not acceptable Anglicanism then we still need an explanation how "bonds of affection" works for the good of the Communion because today, here in NZ, it looks like it is not working.

Right now the case for the Covenant as a means of limiting (not, note carefully, suppressing) our diversity is looking pretty good. Thanks, Glynn!

Remember the point of the Anglican church is that we stay together: we are a Communion. That we have stayed together with considerable diversity in our midst is not a laurel we can rest on. Push the diversity envelope too far and we might blow apart. The ultimate act of anti-Anglicanism is to push that envelope too far!


Gene Packwood said...

Thanks, Peter. It looks like it is not working from where I sit in Medicine Hat, too.

By the way, your link to the text of the Covenant didn't work for me.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Gene
I think I copied the link with a few letters missing - it should work now!