Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Giles Loses Patience

Giles Goddard is bang on the button replying to Andrew Goddard when he states:

I begin to see the sense in the GAFCON conference carrying out its threat to separate from the body of the Anglican Communion so that the rest of the Communion can get on with the work of mission and evangelism to which we are called.

That has become my view as well (as just indicated in the previous entry). They won't reshape the Communion like they think, because this will involve actions that will cause them to shut themselves in. Building a high wall will put them on the inside and the rest of the Communion can reach the rest of the world.

On the Covenant he says:

...it's quite clear that any Covenant which will be agreeable to the Bishops will not have the punitive and exclusionary provisions some seek and will, therefore, not take us much further down the line of resolving this issue.

The danger here is that, unable to make resolutions, it will be up to some Covenant Continuation Group (or whatever it is called) to decide what the Covenant should look like. To get it past the Churches there are these questions, one of which asks:

In considering the St Andrew’s Draft for an Anglican Covenant, are there any elements which would need extensive change in order to make the process of synodical adoption viable?

In other words, 'yes' to make changes in order to have synodical adoption and 'no' to make no changes in order to have synodical adoption. It is a trick question, and one that should be seen for what it is. The Covenant won't help anything. Anyway, Bishop Colton in Ireland says if you want more powers for the Archbishop of Canterbury that compromises Ireland's autonomy, then there have to be changes that compromise England's autonomy - and the latter is illegal! It's not going to happen, and trying to keep shoving it past the next goalmouth and then the next means it will simply fall when it can go no further.

Anyway, back to the letter. Giles says there is nowhere in the Bible where homosexuality is addressed in the context of a loving relationship, that the Church's position is wrong as it has been on other matters, and in any case there is ambiguity in tradition. You can point such out, and it makes no difference to the intransigence found in the discussions.

I suppose we come to admit: they have their views and we have ours. They've elevated the issue to the necessity for a split, and so split they will.

But they can't have it both ways. They can't split and force everyone to toe their line. It's not going to happen either. We know that they go off, form their own associations, and sometimes take property, but it is odd to see these people who leave a Church go on and keep criticising the one they left. If you leave, get over it, and once you've gone, dig your own back garden.

The danger is that those who act after Lambeth start to try and 'cover the ground' of the schismatics, which would be the worst of all worlds: but once they start (or continue) fishing for congregations and name-calling Churches, it won't be long before such Churches decide to continue as they are and take action against poachers.

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