Is there a need for an Anglican Covenant?

Centrists / General Convention

I have been on record for some time now as being in support of the idea of an Anglican Covenant. I’ve also been clear that I think the Episcopal Church should make an effort to not act precipitously so that we would not be able to have a role in its creation and ultimate shape.

I’ve been saying this because ultimately I believe that we need to find a way to rule certain behaviors and beliefs out-of-bounds as Anglicans. And I think it is pretty much self evident that until now we haven’t found a way to do that successfully. What has happened as a result are a number of unilateral actions on all sides of the issue, the net result of which keeps the blog-sphere lit up every summer, but which have yet to do much good in proclaiming the gospel and lordship of Jesus to a world which seems to be spinning more and more out of balance.

I’m not sure that a covenant by itself would be a magic bullet that could make all things right again (assuming they ever were) but the process involved and discussions surrounding its creation are, to my mind, the best place to start.

But now I think I can see a reason to support our participation in the Covenant design that may resonate with people who have up to this point to me that I was wrong to want the Episcopal Church to remain at the table.

The “MadPriest“, an english cleric and blogger, made a point I’ve not seen made before in a comment on Chuck Blanchard’s blog:

“As I keep saying. The primary concern of TEC should not be itself, which is strong enough to weather this storm, but their weaker brethren abroad whose forseeable future is very bleak as they will have to make the decision of leaving the church they love, without any other home to go to, or living a lie.

The truth is, although I am 100% behind TEC’s recent policies, their unilateralist decisions are not a sacrifice for Americans but a sacrifice for their supporters throughout the world who had no say in the decisions. That is why I believe TEC has a primary duty to the spiritual welfare of those fellow travelers outside of the States.”

If I’m reading this right, it would appear that one of the reasons the Episcopal Church should be willing to stay in the Communion rather than just walking away on its own is that by doing what needs to be done to remain, we would be taking on the role of the loyal opposition.

Being loyal opposition is not something that we Americans have managed to do well – witness the behavior of some conservatives within the Episcopal Church or the behavior of the Episcopal Church within the larger Communion – but I take the “MadPriest’s” point and offer it as an additional rationale to those who have called to just pull the plug and walk off without delay.

Read the rest here: A Guy in the Pew: A New Anglican Covenant?

The Author

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

1 Comment

  1. I agree with this. It’s what I’ve been arguing for for the past two years or so – when I’m not in one of my fed-up moods, that is.
    We do have to stay at the table. Anyway, that’s just what the so-called “orthodox” don’t want us to do, so there’s another perk. We’ll show ’em!

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