A comment on my previous post asks:
"perhaps you could do a follow up post for those of us evangelicals whose fear is not that the covenant wrecks autonomy, but that it allows churches to remain too autonomous? Some evangelicals might have been signed up to the covenant draft presented to ACC-14 (can't remember its official name) that contained more serious consequences for provinces that strayed too far from the apostolic faith. Not to mention our other fear that the Covenant won't be worth the paper it's written on, because ACoC and TEC have already broken a number of verbal and written commitments not to take the path they have since taken. This breakdown in trust is mentioned time and again by the Global South primates as the deal breaker for them."
One of the problems global Anglicanism is facing is various groups of narrow-minded Anglicans trying to wrest control of the formal apparatus of world Anglicanism. In some cases the 'narrow-mindedness' is a 'single issue' approach to being Anglican, the specific and urgent issue at present being homosexuality. It is extraordinary how both globally, and within some member churches the question of whether one is 'for' or 'against' the two markers of formal change, blessing of same sex partnerships or ordination of partnered gay ministers, is determinative of whether the future is good or bad.
"What? The Covenant will rule out such change!? Do not sign it."
"What? The Covenant will not expel member churches making such change?! Do not sign it."
In other cases the narrow-mindedness is about a style and substance to the future of Anglicanism which seemingly ignores the history of post-Reformation Anglicanism in which some breadth of approach, tolerance in attitude to one another, and liberality of heart towards others who are different has always featured in our life. I often argue for limits to Anglican diversity but I have never argued for no diversity at all.
So, I say to those who think the Covenant is not tough enough, that an earlier draft was better for holding out the possibility of greater punishment: soften up! Do not fear the future of a toughless global Anglican love. Have some trust that if we sign the Covenant there will be consequences: a changed outlook on being Anglican across the globe which over time increases coherence and commonality among us. What future do you want to be part of? One driven by fear or faith?
Perfect fear casts out all love for the Covenant.
One antidote to fear in this case is grasping that we are a global Communion so that any such thing as a Covenant, when all drafts are said and done is likely to be a middling moderate, centrist document. And most unlikely to support a narrow-minded agenda. Some trust that when we find the middling way we have potential for significant support, for a majority vote in favour, is a sine qua non of belonging to any organisation. Why cannot GAFCON and the like front up to that? (Ipso facto, the question goes to other groups protesting the Covenant).
Incidentally, Lambeth Palace has a very fine response to the announcement of AMiE's existence. If you want to see a narrow-mindedness in action, look closely at AMiE and ask, Why did three people need to go to Kenya to be ordained, rather than front up to one of the excellent evangelical bishops in the C of E?