Sunday 7 December 2008

Authentic Anglicans?

A Statement was made by GAFCON Primates, which formed itself as a separate Primates Council. It's worth a few comments.

We welcome the news of the North American Anglican Province in formation. We fully support this development with our prayer and blessing, since it demonstrates the determination of these faithful Christians to remain authentic Anglicans.

It all depends what is meant by authentic Anglicans, and carries the negative supposition that they have left those who are not. GAFCON people call themselves Confessing Anglicans, and one wonders if such is authentic or a variant. All sorts of references, loyalties, activities and connections make for authentic Anglicanism, and an addition is an attachment to their own Jerusalem Declaration.

North American Anglicans have been tragically divided since 2003 when activities condemned by the clear teaching of Scripture and the vast majority of the Anglican Communion were publicly endorsed. This has left many Anglicans without a proper spiritual home. The steps taken to form the new Province are a necessary initiative. A new Province will draw together in unity many of those who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of God’s word, and also create the highest level of fellowship possible with the wider Anglican Communion.

How one achieves a highest level of fellowship when splitting off baffles me (for one). It seems to be a considerably weaker form of fellowship. This is GAFCON-speak, a twisting of meaning. Again the supposition of remaining faithful comes with the accusation that others are not faithful.

Furthermore, it releases the energy of many Anglican Christians to be involved in mission, free from the difficulties of remaining in fellowship with those who have so clearly disregarded the word of God.

One wishes this were so. When you leave, don't keep making your reference point those you have left. When you leave, cease the parasitic relationship. We know they won't, because they want to recruit, and that means continuing to argue against those they have left. The other function of rattling on about the institution you've left is to have a common enemy as a way of holding together the new institution formed. It is a conjoined twin of difference, and likely to split, under its own logic.

Plus these Primates met the Archbishop of Canterbury on Friday, and did a lot of talking, praying and eating. Well, they will, with him (for now). Ruth Gledhill overcompensates for a previous blog entry/ report by headlining that they did nothing. They are entryist regarding this new institution and the Anglican Communion, so they want to be in not out, but will claim to be authentic while out. These collected Primates might recognise the breakaway, but they would need two thirds of those who must, and the counting is against them. So then, having met, talked, prayed and eaten with the Archbishop, they'll also say he's not important anyway. That's GAFCON for you: having it both ways, entryism, separation - any strategy will do in pursuing a Conservative Evangelical agenda well beyond its numerical importance in the Western Churches at least.

Meanwhile, while these Primates jet around the world, with their obsessions and trivia, there is the odd issue back at home that might concern them: chronic poverty, communal violence (see below), disease and ill-health, patchy education, rotten government, and the exploitation by the Chinese. Personally I wouldn't want to give house room for some of these Primates, never mind spend so much time with them.

One I definitely wouldn't has given yet another interview to a Nigerian newspaper, something called The Sunday Tribune. Its questions to Peter Akinola are the equivalent of underarm bowling in cricket, the sort that allows him to hit the ball wherever he wants. They also verge on the stupid. Here is one such question about the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Has he tried to explain to you the difficulties he is having coming back to real Anglicanism? Why is he still keeping these people who are supporting gay marriage?

I didn't know Rowan Williams was having such personal problems with his faith. I didn't know he is keeping people, any people for that matter, never mind "these people". Anyway, on to the next question, and a little of the answer:

So, you are saying he himself, as a person, is not involved in this homosexuality?

(Cuts in) No, no, far from it. He is not, but like I said, he has people in America , he has people in Canada , he has people even in England , in his own country in England , who are so glued to this whole perversion and they are in their thousands.

Tell you what, mate: hundreds of thousands, and maybe into six noughts. That's participants, but add those like me, straight but not narrow, who regards this as simply part of the everyday world of ordinary people trying to make loving relationships. I'll spread some of the glue over me with my friends. Rowan Williams once shared the glue too, but he prefers to be seen without it these days. It's expedient.

I'll skip the next couple of questions as we who enjoy the proper use of glue (and even those who don't) might call them "arse licking". In fact skip a few more until:

But there is this fear that richer churches from Europe and America will like to use money to buy poorer churches in Africa to back out of GAFCON?

(Cuts in) They are already doing that. In America and England, they are using money to buy silence. They are using money to buy compromise. They have always done it and they are still doing it and they will not stop doing it.

Good grief. Can we follow the money, like has been done with the right wing and the GAFCON enterprise? Show us the evidence! Meanwhile, just how is it that these GAFCON people keep jetting all over the world?

Now to the question about communal violence. Oh, there isn't one. Well that's a shame - I wonder how this pathetic newspaper missed that. Still, let's send this most reprehensible Archbishop Season's Greetings.


Doorman-Priest said...

Let me check that I have this right then: you can become an authentic Anglican by repudiating the leadership of the ABC?

I'm merely a Lutheran, but that doesn't sound at all right to me.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

It's one they have to wriggle around, and have it both ways - off and on.

Anonymous said...

The Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori I believe travels by jet and that is OK?

Let us raise the standard of debate -I mean.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

It's about following the money. Money values (earnings, spending) in Africa mean aircraft fares are huge, but these people seem to jet around far more than even TEC leaders.

My main point is about the appalling ethics of Akinola and his obsessions, and there was no question about communal violence. There is a trail there to be followed too.

Anonymous said...

Some complained when he did not go to Lambeth. How much did that cost? How much is still owed? Was that a good use of money in our poverty-stricken world?

Sorry if he jets here he is wrong, if he doesn’t he’s wrong.
But if TEC jets that is alright – over fifty at Lambeth?

It seems that you are the one obsessed by this guy.

Argue against his ethics not his air miles. When is Rowan off to the states to clear the debt. CoE investments how ethical are they?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

No, Lambeth 2008 was a waste of money, largely a talking shop while the groups to act for Rowan Williams did what they were going to do.

I'll argue against Akinola from all kinds of angles, thanks. I'm not obsessed by him - he pops up in the news and he usually looks stupid. He is a destructive force in his own area of activity.

The day he retires cannot be too soon, but he'll probably be replaced by another of similar ilk.