Thursday, May 27, 2010

Unedifying spectacle

Unfortunately the separation of AMiA from ACNA is not an edifying spectacle. As Texanglican says, "Spin it any way you like, but this is a blow to the Anglican Church in North America." It is a dream come true for critics of ACNA: united by nothing more than homophobia or hatred for TEC, it will soon disintegrate. Well, if ACNA is not going to disintegrate it needs to act fast. Find an olive tree, cut down a branch, pray, and wave it madly in AMiA's direction.

Amazingly on the link above are comments posted by either Nara Dewar Duncan, wife of Archbishop Bob Duncan, or someone impersonating her. No holds barred there. Admirable loyalty for her husband and frustration at the course of events (largely dictated, incidentally, by Rwanda, but seemingly with contributory personality factors kicking in). But loyalty of this kind is not necessarily the oil which smooths troubled waters or the strong rope that binds brothers and sisters together in Christ.

Dear reader, I have moved in conservative Anglican circles all my life; I have also moved in conservative evangelical circles of an ecumenical character for significant portions of time. Disunity is our weakness. A theology of living with disagreement in the one church of God often seems beyond our grasp. Resolve our disagreements or start a new church or movement? No brainer for conservatives on many occasions. And the preferred option is the latter not the former. Some part of our brains is built to house our egos not to suppress them.

Not to be misunderstood: many conservatives have fellowship with those they disagree with, and often do so with joy and great good humour. Many conservative Anglicans never even think about leaving our church, let alone starting a new version of a local evangelical Anglican fellowship. But we know those in our midst who do think such thoughts. We can name those who have walked away. It's our little problem. But over in the USA right now, it appears to be a big problem.

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