Admiral of Morality: Leaving the light on

Monday, March 05, 2007

Leaving the light on

It is going to take a very long time for most of the good people in the Episcopal Church to ever again trust much of the Anglican Communion, much less actively work to support and promote it.

It is safe to say that the Anglican Communion is hanging on to the Episcopal Church by the thinnest of threads. Where once Canterbury and its affiliated bureaucracies could count on a wellspring of goodwill, that reservoir has quickly dried up in the winds of Dar es Salaam. Such is life.

The image above is the correct one--it is the Anglican Communion struggling to hold on, not the Episcopal Church. Most of the opinions that have been heard and that can be voiced at national councils, have spoken again and again for the full and unreserved truth of the Gospel: in the Lord there are no outcasts. The Anglican Communion, through some of its bodies and bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, is insisting that the Church merely say this--but not live it. As a corollary, they urge our national councils to ignore their regular and historic discernment.

This is quite a straitjacket. It cannot not last for very long, if at all.

The cost to the Episcopal Church once it frees itself from it, will likely be another, second Anglican province. The Church of England are welcome to it. If being Anglican means preaching that Life and the Word go only so far, and that the Church itself does not live by what it wants others to, it is hard to envision a national Church in America that is proud or willing to affix Anglican to itself. More likely it would be prouder to acknowledge the pool from which it sprung, give a hearty salute, and be about its work and mission.

Canterbury and many other primates--including those who speak boldly but not at Communion councils, only when they are safe in their home territories--posit the Episcopal Church as a province of a quasi-imperialist Anglicanism. This is news to most of us. There are no doubt some who look quite favorably on this model, especially when implicit in it is a tradition of limiting the Church's membership and offices. This stream has a powerful and lengthy resume.

Since her return from Tanzania the Presiding Bishop has done her best to present the demands given her, and us, as a charitable solution. She is striving mightily to put the best face on what is clearly not only a bitter pill, but an outrage to our Church.

There might be charity in the details she presents on others' behalf, somewhere; they may even be found if we contort our discernment and squint enough. But alas, at no time in the history of our Church have we discerned a truth, or a Gospel imperative, and then as a Church, refused to implement it. Squinting will not help keep that light out of our eyes.

At the end of this "season," whatever this means, our Church should re-commit itself to what it already is: a Church where there are no outcasts, where the Lord is called Blessed, where His mercy is sought, and where the hand of mission and friendship is extended.

There will come a time when other churches will extend their hands in friendship to us, in the ways they have in the past.

We shall leave the light on.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dennis said...

absolutely true. well writen. I hope that plenty of people see this.

3/05/2007 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Seattle Sue said...

Wowzer. That's it, that's what I think, too, though not so eloquently, not so patiently, not so charitably. Just "Here's who we are," everyone's welcome. We'll be right here, patiently and hopefully waiting for you.

In the meantime we are about the business of being Christ's Body, the Extension of the Incarnation given for the life of the world.

3/06/2007 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Leonardo Ricardo said...

"Wowzer. That's it, that's what I think, too, though not so eloquently, not so patiently, not so charitably. Just "Here's who we are," everyone's welcome. We'll be right here, patiently and hopefully waiting for you." Seattle Sue

Me too (especially the "not so charitably" part), that's what I think! Thank you Admiral and Seattle Sue and I wish to also remind everyone of the dangerous and hate-mongering Akinolan legislation pending in Nigeria against LGBT people...never must we let this kind of tainted-rotted thinking highjack OUR majority sense of decency and Gods COMMANDMENT for inclusiveness and love by demoralizing fellow human beings for simply "being."

No means no, but, by all means, we will leave the "light on" and the "door open" because The Episcopal Church welcomes EVERYONE (and someones got to do the REAL mission work of SAVING millions of fellow human beings from Akinola, Orombi and accomplices!

3/06/2007 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger The AoM said...

Greetings to all, peace and grace in the Name of the Lord. Thank you for finding the time to visit and write.

It is good to hear from you again, Leonardo.

3/06/2007 07:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Catherine+ said...

OT: it is great to hear from Episcopal bloggers in our neck of the Northwest woods! Yay!

3/13/2007 12:07:00 AM  

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