So, in yesterday's Gospel reading, the last words were:
The Father and I are one (John 10:30).
The unity of the Father and the Son is one of the great themes of John's Gospel, if not the greatest theme of them all.
The mission of the Son in Johannine thought is the unification of humanity with God.
The church sort of understands that (e.g. when Paul in Ephesians writes about God's universal plan, "to gather up all things in [Christ]", 1:10) and sort of doesn't (e.g. when it has lots of factions such as Paul tackles in chapter after chapter of 1 Corinthians).
Division among churches at best is a handbrake on our participation in God's mission (we get distracted by issues internal to Christian life) and at worst it is a barrier to hearing the Good News (non-Christians are turned off the purse gospel by the confusion of versions of Christianity). (
Aside: I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry yesterday driving down a street in one of our towns in which the Baptist Church is next door to the Catholic Church and Catholic School which is next door to the Union Church!
A special interest of this blog through its zillions of posts is unity among Anglicans. Putting the Union back into Anglican Communion!
On the good news front, I hear that more bishops than expected are planning to go to the Lambeth Conference in July this year. Cool!
This is my best understanding of what could happen - happy to be corrected by any Australian readers.
1. No particular change to the current situation which is somewhat unsettled (and looking forward to this GS settling one way or another).
2. An affirmation that various moves in a few dioceses in favour of blessing of same sex marriages are good to continue (but this may lead to disaffiliations from dioceses by some parishes; and even to some kind of separation by some dioceses from the national Anglican church).
3. An affirmation that any moves anywhere to bless any relationship other than marriage between a man and a woman is wrong (unconstitutional, heretical, and the like) - unlikely to lead to disaffiliations by those who disagree; would there by rebellion against such an affirmation?
I have no particular insight or information which leads to a prediction.
But I do want to say a few things about the framing of the differences and divisions in Anglicanlands about That Topic.
Reading around the traps I see some conservative commentary which sees these matters as binary: light versus darkness, holiness versus sinfulness and consequently as matters over which people should leave the church to reform around what they believe. (Some talk, for instance, that the progressives should have the courage of their convictions and leave to form a church better suited to their view of Anglicanism).
My own preference is to see these matters as matters on which Anglicans have reasonable grounds for reasonable difference.
At the heart of debates over homosexuality in 21st century life are two (or more views) on homosexuality as a phenomenon of human life.
Some Anglicans view homosexuality as a result of the Fall and thus all strictures against blessing same sex marriages are logical extensions of a view that only sexual commitment in line with creation's intention itself can be blessed.
Some Anglicans view homosexuality as a longstanding variation within human sexuality, likely present since the emergence of humanity (homo sapiens) from the evolutionary process and thus a state of life which is within nature rather than against nature, with a consequential hesitancy to interpret Scripture as constraining two homosexuals from committing to each other in lifelong, faithful love.
Given that no definitive statement of Anglicanism found in the BCP or the 39A determines that it is unreasonable for Anglicans to hold to either view of homosexuality, is it not within the bounds of Anglicanism for there to be differences of view on how our church might respond to two homosexuals seeking ecclesiastical blessing for a legal state of life? (We might note that there are statements within Anglicanism about the respected role of the magistrate in civil life ...!).
If such debate is framed in this way, then isn't it incumbent within Anglicanlands to find ways to accommodate our differences on such matters rather than to divide over such matters?