I've been to Birmingham today, 2 hours from home, for a meeting of the No Anglican Covenant group, planning the campaign.
And then, after a question:
What to report about the No Covenant group, Sue? The usual suspects gathered, got diverted, came up with some good practical ideas, sent people off to carry them out.
That's the problem, of course. It is the usual suspects. Identified as such, they get parcelled off by the people whose agenda it is to pass the thing - as with Graham Kings's comment to Colin at the recent Church of England General Synod to go and lie low somewhere.
A similar thought stuck me about the recent entry in Not the Same Stream, a blog of the Modern Church Union. It was asking:
First, substantive questions:
What must be believed? What may be believed? What must not be believed?
Second, interpretative questions:
In what manner must or may or must not these beliefs be held?
Third, determinative questions:
Who decides? And by what mechanism?
The problem is that orthodoxy and heterodoxy now only concerns those within that institution making those distinctions. I couldn't care less one way or the other, and doesn't impact on my religious practice (except by history). I watched Horizon this evening asking 'What is Reality' and that was far more interesting and, of course, speculative thought that draws on (or is located in) and refers back to mathematics and experiment.
Orthodoxy and heterodoxy is just not interesting, and I can only contrast the phycisists of today and thinking of Rowan Williams whose theology seems to be limited to 'telling stories' and whether you have your own vision.
In the end, heterodoxy and orthodoxy is politics for the institution, and try as it might to reason the point, Not the Same Stream is one of the usual suspects. Because orthodoxy is written down, point by point, the opposition will always have one over those who quibble and who claim a more subtle form of orthodoxy or even accept their heterodoxy.
Don't worry (as if anyone would); I'm not handing it over to the Evangelicals. Also on Facebook and beyond I see references by over enthusiastic ordinands to debates such as over the Eternal Subordination of the Son and so on. What? What possible relevant meaning has that got for anyone or anything whatsoever? Certainly not for the actual person of the 'cult of the personality', who'd find such references laid on to him bizarre, but more than that of no plausibility structure to anyone here and now other than those weaving their internal debates for whom orthodoxy and heterodoxy have any impact.