The End of Anglicanism?

Current Affairs / Religion

Anglican Postmortem: The End of Anglicanism:

“The contretemps between the Episcopal Church and most of the rest of the Anglican Church is not likely to go away.  Indeed it seems most likely that within the next 3 to 5 years we will no longer be a part of the larger body.  For some, such a rupture will be a cause of great sadness, for others, it will hardly register.  For myself, I welcome it.  It is time for us to go.

On the surface the controversy stems from the 2003 consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man with a partner.  In fact his consecration was merely the precipitating event in a larger struggle to reshape Anglicanism.  Indeed any number of ‘outrages’ would have galvanized those forces within Anglicanism — evangelical, traditional, conservative — not only to attack those actions of our church they considered liberal, secular or unbiblical, but to move for a wholesale restructuring of Anglicanism.

Those who disagreed with the consecration of Gene Robinson had the choice at the time whether or not to act like brothers and sisters, friends in Christ.  Instead they chose to attack the American church with unprecedented vitriol, becoming a howling mob.  Why this level hatred and nastiness?”

This is one of the clearest statements of the present situation in the Anglican Communion that I have come across. We are not fighting over homosexuality – gay and lesbian people are being used as objects to club others over the head about ideas that have little to do with questions of same-gender relationships. It’s not about power either. It’s about a different world-view and a reaction to the rise of post-modernity and a relativistic/probablistic world-view.

The proposed solution to the problem also has little to do with responding pastorally to the crisis that has arisen in the Church. It’s all about taking control of the direction of the Communion and reshaping it into a consistent witness. The problem is that what I have always found most appealing about Anglicanism is its lack of consistency. If Jesus had felt that having a monolithic tightly focused Church on earth was important, he would have left very explicit instructions about Church governance and polity. He didn’t. I think that lack of instructions tells us something.

I’m worried about the direction this is heading. I agree with others who have observed that the flash point is going to be Lambeth 2008. I wonder if The Episcopal Church will be invited to the meeting that ostensibly determines her fate?

(Via Anglican Postmortem.)

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Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...