Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't vote ++KJS off the island

There is something odd about some advice a leading Anglican bishop has given the Anglican primates. Thus Bishop David Anderson of the AAC writes,

"If asked my opinion, I would strongly advise the orthodox Primates to 1) organize before the Primates' meeting, and 2) attend and remove by force of numbers the Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church (not physically, but by either voting her off the "island," or recessing to another room and not letting her in). The meeting is a place to gather and potentially to settle some of the issues that are pulling the Anglican Communion apart, and to begin to restore health to a most wonderful communion.

In the above case, if Dr. Williams did not go along with Jefferts Schori's exclusion, then I would suggest having the next-door-meeting without him. I just don't believe staying home from the field of battle helps win a war over the truth and nature of Christianity within Anglicanism. The Christian Church needs a spiritually strong and muscular Anglicanism to re-evangelize the West; are we willing to make the sacrifices in order for this to happen?" (My italics)

I understand that when people are "voted off the island" on these survivor reality TV shows, the first thing they do is give interviews to glossy magazine journals who like nothing better than banner headlines like 'Chazza glad to leave: fellow contestants "spiteful" and "cruel",' or "Sasha's secret torment on island: crabs ate her little toes." No doubt with a little more style, and to a better quality rag, why should ++Jefferts Schori not speak to the media if dumped from the Primates' Meeting? She will look saintly, and wear the afterglow of martyrdom. They will look like ... well, frankly, twits. Even sillier would be making ++Williams a fellow sufferer for the world media to feed on.

As for a 'muscular Anglicanism' to re-evangelize the West, the West has been evangelised muscularly (Moody, Sunday, Graham, Campus Crusade for Christ, etc) and here we are the most secular hemisphere in the world! Such evangelists faithfully proclaimed the gospel, and many were converted to Christ. But other forces have been at work in the Western world which have led to the need for 're-evangelization.' We need to better understand those forces - the response to which is not 'muscular Anglicanism'. Actually, it is not any kind of Anglicanism that is going to re-evangelise the West, of course. The key lies in the work of the Spirit of God, not of our muscles.

Oh, and there might be that other thing, the thing which Jesus talked about, prayed about, and said it would help people to know God. Unity. Of course unity is helped by keeping people on the island, and the primates in the same room. Talking. And it will need to be smarter than the thinking being exhibited here by +Anderson. Whatever their critics think of them, ++Jefferts Schori and ++Williams are not lacking in the little grey cells.

I can agree with +Anderson that the primates should go to the meeting.


John Sandeman said...

I am curious. In what way did Billy Graham fail to faithfully proclaim the gospel?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John
Whoops! I now see that I wrote ambiguously and have re-written the paragraph in which the (false) impression was conveyed which led to your question.

Brother David said...

Peter, you are overly lavish with your adjectives. If an I-paid-for-it,-so-the-position-is-mine, suffragan bishop from Kenya, interloping in a province not his own, is a leading Anglican bishop, then the likes of +Rowan and +Katharine are stelar celebrities!

Anderson's biggest error is the fact that he joins the rest of the Global South in its united wrong-headed thinking that insists in elevating the Primates Meeting to something that it is not. It is not a Holy Synod of Primates of an Anglican Church. It is a retreat of the primates of the autocephalic constituent churches of the Anglican Communion. It is an opportunity for them to study and pray together, and otherwise chit chat, hob nob, let their hair down, chill out and relax.

It has never been more than that. The self-obsessed primates of the GS keep trying to make it more, as they also keep trying to make their entire role in the AC more, but by the grace of God, it has not and I pray will not ever become more.

Lionel Deimel said...

“Leading Anglican bishop” indeed! I look forward to receiving my weekly newsletter from the American Anglican Council, so I can read Anderson’s latest message. Reading his letter is the humorous highlight of the week. David Anderson consistently is outrageous in his rhetoric, and it is amusing that people are acting as though they are taking him seriously. Anderson should be the Communion’s official court jester. It would serve him right if the Global South primates actually took his advice.

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
The time for unity with TEC is over. They are following a different Jesus and proclaiming a different gospel to the rest of the Communion. Organisational unity, without unity in the truth, is no unity at all.
There is no point in the orthodox primates being at the same meeting as TEC. All the talking, listening, attempts at reconciliation, indabas etc of the last 5 years have only confirmed that TEC has a different agenda. What breakthrough do you expect from this meeting that hasn't already been tried before? The only options left are boycott or exclusion of TEC.
Of course we want unity, and we pray and work for it as Jesus commanded us. But when a church defiles Jesus' name, disobeys his commands, and persecutes his followers, we can't be part of the same body any longer.
Andrew Reid

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrew
As I understand commenters here such as David, Mark Harris, and Lionel Diemel, there would be a vigorous counter argument re your claim of TEC preaching 'another gospel.' Part of that counter claim would include the fact that TEC is not a simple monolithic entity. For me that means that we need to keep talking, even if we feel very doubtful that true gospel unity can be achieved.

Kurt said...

“...when a church defiles Jesus' name, disobeys his commands, and persecutes his followers, we can't be part of the same body any longer.”--Andrew Reid

This is outrageous! How can Andrew expect us to take him seriously when he repeats such vile slanders? Episcopalians were honoring Jesus’ Name, obeying His commands, and opposing Calvinist heretics before Sydney was even a collection of canvas tents and mud huts scattered along the Tank Stream!

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY