Saturday, 9 August 2008

Lambeth Aftermath, Purple-shirted, Flatulence, Schism is Better than Heresy and the Future

"Purple-shirted Flatulence: Schism is Better than Heresy" is the arresting title of an article which is an excellent summary of where we find ourselves after Lambeth 2008 and how we got here. Mark Dawes, The Jamaica Gleaner News religion editor, gets The Windsor Report and how it plays in Anglicanism right:
The Windsor Report served to invoke a charge not uncommonly laid against Anglican ethos. The charge was that the report did not go far enough and that the Anglican communion was sacrificing biblical truth to preserve unity. Indeed, there is a saying that Anglicans prefer to accommodate heresy within their ranks rather than have a schism.
He also gets it right on the opposing views of biblical authority:
The problem posed by homosexuality to the Anglican church was theological long before it became organisational. For the conservative Anglican, the Bible is inspired and, therefore, authoritative for faith and practice. For liberals, the Bible is inspiring, like good Shakespearean writings, and listening to Mozart or Marley.
Finally, 
The Anglican church has had five years to deal with homosexuality among clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions. Collectively, the church has lacked courage to take the hard decision that beckons. There have been enough conferences, councils and purple-shirted flatulence on the issue of homosexuality. If a person can find where the Bible sanctions homosexuality he/she should be recruited by George W. Bush to find bin Laden. Anglicans have lost enough time on the issue of homosexuality. The two opposing views on homosexuality are incompatible. There is no middle ground. There has been enough talk. There comes a time when schism is far better than heresy.
Read it all here: Jamaica Gleaner News - Purple-shirted flatulence: Schism is better than heresy - Saturday | August 9, 2008. H/T Stand Firm.

Dawes is right. Anglican leaders, whether for the sake of not excluding anyone, or because they were ignorant or in denial of the depth of the divide that has formed, have avoided coming to a resolution on the issue that faces us. Instead, for fear of offending anyone, they have remained silent, or opted for endless "dialogue," while all the while, in the case of the Anglican Church of Canada, simply declaring that this is not a communion-breaking issue which they must think will just make it all go away.

What that and Lambeth 2008 have brought us to is summed up by Stand Firm's, Sarah Hey:
The end result of the Lambeth Conference is that it leaves the revisionists with zero consequences as of yet from the international communion. And with ten years before another Lambeth Conference.
...from her excellent no-tell-us-what-you-really-think summation of it all here.

And so the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada will continue on their present course. Victoria Matthews, former Bishop of Edmonton, now Bishop of Christchurch in God'sOwnCountry (New Zealand), is a member of the Windsor Continuation Group comments:
Regarding the difficulty of the Canadian and US churches in stepping back from their approval of same-sex unions, she told the Anglican Journal, "I don't think they actually mean 'can't', I think they actually mean 'won't'."
...from Jim Coggins at canadianchristianity.com here