titusonenine » Chris Findley: What is the Anglican Communion? Why Does it Matter?

Centrists / Current Affairs / Religion

Chris Findley has picked up two of the main reasons that I’ve been finding myself coming back to again and again in my own attempts to answer the same question. (But he expresses them much better than I’ve been able to…) Here’s the first, and the second is after the “jump”. The whole thing, as posted over on Titus One Nine, is worth the time to savor.

“[W]hy remain a part of [the Anglican] communion?

The first reason I believe we should revere our place in the Communion is that we need the theological mooring of the Communion. While the communion has no regulatory authority per se there is a sense of accountability that comes from being a part of a larger body of Christ. Just as we see value in not pursuing our individual Christian lives on our own, but within a community of believers, I believe that as churches we should be in community. Just as we expect the Spirit of God to lead the local church, how much more should we listen to the Spirit speaking through the larger Body of Christ around the world. We need the Communion, in many ways, to aid us as a church in maintaining our humility.

It is the Anglican Communion that intimately connects us to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church –for the Communion, at its heart, is a theological communion. It says not only do we trace our heritage from these particular beginnings; we hold these things as necessary and valuable. The preamble of our constitution (quoted above) also goes on to say that the Church’s participation in the Communion is by having ‘duly constituted dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches, in communion with the See of Canterbury , upholding the historic faith and order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.’ There is a helpful quote from the Lambeth Conference in 1968 which clarifies this further:…”

Read the rest here: Chris Findley: What is the Anglican Communion? Why Does it Matter?

(Via Titus One Nine.)

‘Comprehensiveness demands agreement on fundamentals, while tolerating disagreement on matters in which Christians may differ without feeling the necessity of breaking communion. In the mind of an Anglican, comprehensiveness is not compromise. Nor is it to bargain one truth for another. It is not a sophisticated word for syncretism.’ (Backhouse, 16-17)

The second reason I believe the Anglican Communion is worth our effort is because it provides the potential for true unity and true diversity. The Communion, existing in over 130 countries, can link us in wonderful ways to Anglican Christians around the world. In this Diocese alone, many can testify to the great blessings of the relationship we have with the Diocese of Littoral. The Companion Diocese program has blessed so many people all around the country and the world.

We have much to learn from other Communion members, particularly in Africa. Nigeria alone has 15 million Anglicans. Can you imagine a country with 15 million Anglican Christians?! What might we learn from our brothers and sisters in that land who can hardly train clergy fast enough to meet the demands of ministry?

The Anglican Communion also connects us with Christians who are under persecution for their faith –whose lives are in danger because of their faith in Christ. These are Christians very different from us, yet united with us in the Gospel. They have different skin tones, different languages, different social problems, and different structures, but they have the same love. How wonderful it is to be connected with them and to be able to easily partner with them in working for the Kingdom of God.

The Author

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