Thanksgiving In All Things: Who Wants to be Included in This?


Christopher, writing about the situation in the Anglican Communion and within the Episcopal Church has this to say to all, after observing that “Full Inclusion” has come not to mean welcoming all to relationships with God, and instead is now about who has the power to decide who is at the center of relationships:

“What if, instead of full inclusion, we were to exercise our full inclusion? You see, the rhetoric of ‘inclusion’ from liberals and lgbt advocates tends also to undermine the core reality: In Holy Baptism, God has included us in His own life, a life outside of which nothing exists, if we are to believe Maurice. Liberals tend to use this term in word, but in act, it becomes actually about who has the power, who can determine who is at the center of our common life, who has to forebear and who doesn’t, whose forebearance is coopted as ‘our generosity’. Lgbt advocates tend to use it as a ‘storm the gate’ phrasing. The question, however, is, for each of us, how are we going to live out this new reality of God’s hospitality? What if we were to exercise our full inclusion by serving others in the way we are each called to do? Not in some one-size-fits-all ‘sacrifice’ of the liberals and conservatives and many moderates that reduces lgbt persons and vocations to what is useful for the Anglican Communion, but in care of neighbors each in our own way, something never so easily manipulated into institutional cares and goals (or reduced to the clerical estate)?

Maurice’s ecclesiological understanding is rooted in a generous, and by generous, I mean common for all, christology. This is at the heart of practical and practicable (read concrete) Anglicanism to his mind. It is a vision rooted in Irenaeus’s central concept of recapitulation and Chalcedonian understandings of Christ’s saving Person and work: What is not assumed is not saved. Increasingly, however, the spirit of Anglicanism is that of a heterosexual sect, unwilling to practice a generosity that invites all to practically experience the joy of being included in the life of the Father through the Son in the Spirit, yet willing to congratulate itself at words such as these from Lambeth, words I might add that in actual practice are meaningless and less than worthless:

‘As Bishops we need to repent of the ways in which our hardness of heart toward each other may have contributed to the brokenness of our Communion at this present time. We need to repent of statements and actions that have further damaged the dignity of homosexual persons.’

Our church has become to self-congratulatory, our communion has become too self-focused, and our ecclesiology too self-centered rather than christocentric, and I have to ask, who in the hell would want to be included in this?”

Read the full article here.

The Author

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