Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Being Denominational in an Anglican Way

From time to time Jude and I have become dissatisfied with the Anglican Church. We don't like the way it's losing its Scriptural and doctrinal moorings and we murmur to ourselves. Not a smart thing to do historically—see Dt 1.27, Josh 9.18 and Ps 106.25.

The fact is God chose exactly where and when Jude was to be born as an Anglican and that I would marry her and become an Anglican priest for this particular time in this particular place. He knows exactly what He is doing. Blessed be the Name of the LORD.

So, the front page of June's Christianity Today—"Are Denominations Dead? (Not Quite.)" caught my attention. I read Ed Stetzer's excellent article, "Life in Those Old Bones: if You're Interested in Doing Mission, There Could Hardly Be a Better Tool Than Denominations" in which I found this:
To paraphrase Churchill's comments about democracy: Denominations are the worst way to cooperate—except for all the others. They are riddled with weak, ineffective, and arrogant leadership, prone to navel-gazing, and often move more slowly than they should. But these aspects are products of human fallibility and sin. Every time churches work together, ego, failure, and inefficiency will arise. And when they don't work together, ego, failure, and inefficiency will arise. People, not denominations, are the source.
Denominations at their best are not places to get something but places to give and to serve. Our gifts, passions, and experience have greater influence through a worldwide denominational network. Through a denomination, we can provide resources to people we will never meet, reach places we will never go, and preach the gospel to lost souls who are beyond our personal reach. We can find what we need and give as much as we want—because the key to cooperation is to both give and receive. (All here.)
So Anglican is the worst denomination, except for all the others. As someone said when asked which is the right denomination, "None of them. They're all wrong!" Glad to be Anglican.