Remember where you were and what you were doing when you read this but an Anglican liberal and I completely agree about something. The Rev. Lesley Fellows thinks that’s it’s high time for both wings the Anglican Communion to stop pretending that they have anything in common anymore:
The first time I went to marriage counselling I was terrified. I had been unhappily married on and off since the day of our marriage, and I had spent eighteen years trying to fix it and to make myself stay. Although my ex is a good man and I am delighted that we had our three boys, the marriage itself had exhausted me and I was ‘all cried out’, I couldn’t go on any more, the eighteen years had cost me very dearly.
So I was terrified that somehow the marriage counsellor would manage some guilt trip that would cause me to stay in a broken relationship. The first thing she said to us was that there were two good outcomes – a good marriage or an amicable separation, and that not every relationship can end in a good marriage but that an amicable separation should always be possible. I was so thankful. I could wholeheartedly say ‘yes’ to a good marriage or an amicable separation. We met five times and it soon became clear that separating was the only option, painful as that was.
I think the same result was inevitable in the Anglican Communion. For some time GAFCON have been very unhappy with other parts of the Anglican Communion, and it has been like watching a couple row.
It sounds like they are packing their bags and moving out. ++Rowan has been desperate to keen the two sides together, but sometimes this is impossible, and it doesn’t represent a failure on his part, the difference between the worldviews of the two sides is massive and growing.
So let us work towards an amicable separation, let us bless each other and ask for God’s joy and peace for each other, and let us try to put the pain of the past behind us as we look forwards to a new future.
I honestly can’t argue with any of that. I’ve believed for a long time that if what now describes itself as “conservative” or “traditionalist” Anglicanism wants to have a chance at survival, it’s going to have to completely reinvent itself.
And that reinvention is going to have to start with the “connection” to the See of Canterbury. Since it’s a historical contrivance that only dates back to the 1500′s and no farther, I’m entirely willing to let the Anglican left have it.
Complete reinvention often necessitates discarding associations that tie one down, hold one back, or are no longer of any use. But Chris, if the Canterbury connection is broken, traditionalist Anglican churches and provinces will no longer be Anglican!
So what? What are we supposed to be about here? The proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the advancement of the glory of British Christianity?
It’s like I’ve said here over and over. I’ll go to the ends of the Earth to tell one person about Jesus Christ but I wouldn’t cross the street merely to make someone Anglican. If the term “Anglicanism” is eventually replaced by “Ugandanism” or some similar word, I, for one, would boast about that title.