Monday, July 4, 2011

SPREAD IT All Around

Well folks, here is the GAFCON latest idea on what constitutes an Anglican Communion.  Let's start with their statement, written by Charles Raven.

Events between the 1998 and 2008 Lambeth Conferences demonstrate decisively that the Communion's present "instruments of unity", including the See of Canterbury itself, are no longer fit for purpose when confronted with deep theological confusion in which evil is held out as good and good as evil. A merely institutional unity not firmly rooted in the revealed truths of God's Word written is not only counterfeit but also toxic, exposing the whole Communion to the false teaching and immorality absorbed by the Western Churches. SPREAD seeks to guard against this danger and to encourage the emergence of new Anglican structures able to support a coherent and confident proclamation of the gospel around the globe.

Two key elements are attacked here by those revisionists that would fashion an Anglican Communion in the image of peter Akinola, or perhaps more to the point, Michael Nazir-Ali.  Notice that the "see of Canterbury is no longer fit for purpose"   Conveniently, GAFCON now takes on the titular head of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  These folks have lost all moral compass, at least in so far as the Anglican Communion is concerned.  My feeble brain with my minimalist logic says: The Church of England, founded by the English, also known as Angles (hence Anglican) was the originator of the the Anglican Church.  I think my history calls me to account for Henry the VIII, Elizabeth the I, Cranmer, Richard Hooker, etc.  When the British, also known as Angles, created their empire away back when, they brought to all the new lands, the English Church, that is, the Church of England.  This happened in as unusual a place as the 13 colonies, India, Nigeria, Australia and so on.  As these countries became independent such as Canada, they formed their own variation of the Church of England, in this case called the Anglican Church of Canada.  The archbishop of Canterbury, appointed by the crown in England, has been the titular head of this loose confederation of provinces including the Episcopal Church of the United States.  How can the head of the Church of England, the tree from which all the branches have grown, suddenly not be "fit for purpose".  Nothing has changed in a thousand years.

Then, Mr. Raven goes to the what ought to be the first argument but turns out to be his second argument.  A merely institutional unity not firmly rooted in the revealed truths of God's Word written is not only counterfeit but also toxic,  Just what the heck is going on?  It appears Mr. Raven and the fellow Conelonialists want to move this loose confederation of provinces gathered under the titular head, the Archbishop of Canterbury, into a clear, top don, organizational structure with like rules and regulations and a magisterium and everything roman.  After all, how can any province be punished if we can all think for ourselves?  How can there be any sense of unity unless we can snap a string and straighten out the entire communion.  Why do we need to talk and  discuss when all we really need to do is have Mr. Akinlola, Mr. Nazir-Ali, Mr. Jensen, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Orombi et al make these decisions for us.  Boy, how much pressure can we take off all the provinces.

What a crock!  First, one cannot change facts and one cannot change history.  The Anglican Communion is a confederation of provinces that celebrate diversity and welcome discussion and discernment.  If we do not ask questions, if we do not posit interpretations, how does the living word of God stay alive? 

What SPREAD/GAFCON/FCA/CANA/AMiE/AMiA and all the other groups want is a new church built on new "standards", pillars if you will.  Well, no one is stopping you all, go ahead.  Create a "new communion" that has all the trappings you like but, please do not call it Anglican and please do not include me.