Monday, 5 November 2012

Anglican Drift: Canadian Dioceses and Same Sex Blessings, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Bible in the Life of the Church Project

…upset with the continuing drift in the Anglican world. 


The Anglican Essentials Canada Blog recently reported that the Diocese of Rupert’s Land has now joined British Columbia, New Westminster, Edmonton, Niagara, Huron, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in making the blessing of same sex unions possible. That's a third of the dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada. 
It seems that in deciding not to make a decision on the matter, General Synod 2010 was not so much allowing time for growing consensus as making the way clear for dioceses to go ahead severally. There has been no intention of holding off for the sake of the communion. It's hard not feel duped. 

The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in NZ

Things are not much better on the international level. Canon Phil Ashey, Chief Operating and Development Officer for the American Anglican Council writes: 
In terms of what seems to be emerging, I would respectfully suggest the following as a “pincer” movement that ACC/ACO is going to place upon confessing Anglicans: 
1. Through Continuing Indaba dialogue and stories, bolstered by the work of the Bible in the Life of the Church (BILC) resources, Biblical interpretation of human sexuality and its limits will be rendered value-neutral with no limits on Biblical interpretation within the Communion. Lambeth 1.10 will be declared in effect non-binding; 
2. Then, through the new Code of Conduct and the Safe Church resolution, any objection to sexual expressions that are not Biblical will be deemed “harassment,” chilling any speech and bringing consequences to those who, in Anglican communion meetings, dare to raise the subject. 
I pray I am mistaken, but that is my best look into the future. 
…also from The Anglican Essentials Canada Blog and just as disturbing. 

Bible in the Life of the Church

There was a report from the Bible in the Life of the Church project at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in New Zealand. Why do such projects so rarely call for deeper submission to Scripture in the Anglican world? On the contrary, the authority and reliability of Scripture is constantly called into question. Personal experience, a culture of victimhood and postmodern progressive cultural mores trump the Scripture every time.  

Anglican Down Under comments on the Anglican Consultative Council and the report:
if its celebration of the report on the Bible in the Communion is a guide, any time there is disagreement about truth, we celebrate our diversity instead of mourning our loss of unity. Such response is scandalous, a stumbling block to true Christian "progress"…
Celebrating diversity constantly is a shell game, an avoidance of the hard work finding the truth involves. The point of theology is to seek truth. Stopping when the going gets hard with a celebration of diversity of viewpoint is intellectual laziness. We will only progress as a Communion when we repent of our apathy and move forward zealous for the truth.
But then, there's no longer such a thing as objective truth. All is relative.

Anglican Down Under, also shared this comment on the project: 
After three and half years of worldwide research, the Bible in the Life of the Church project has found that Anglicans around the globe share “a high common ground” over the essential place and use of the Bible in Anglican life. 
How can a communion which can't agree on whether it is even God's Word possibly have a "high common ground"? And that's before we get onto interpretation, criticism, contextualisation etc. The authors appear to have done a thorough job in their research, but it doesn't seem to pass the common sense test. Why is our communion falling apart if we all agree on our foundational text and its meaning for us today?
To me it always feels like the truth of Scripture and the importance and uniqueness of Jesus as Saviour is always being called into question and watered down. I continue to be saddened by it all.