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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This friend speaks my mind

Note: This was posted in the comments section in the article below about Davis, director of Changing Attitudes Nigerian. It was way too good to let it stay buried there.

As our Quaker Friends are of't wont to say, "This friend speaks my mind."

Thank you, Robert H., whoever you are.

I truly believe that the Episcopal Church is at a point were she can choose to develop as a truly autocephalous Church within a re-aligned and re-constituted Communion.

The Anglican Communion was always an entity ad experimentum. There is no scriptural or traditional mandate for its existence as a communion entity--it's essential vocation is within the bound of reason and affection. If it has a 'vocation to disappear' then it will.

To paraphrase Bishop Spong: "women don't go back in the kitchen (unless they *want* to), gays don't go back in the closet, blacks don't return to the back of the bus" and our Episcopal Church is not going to return to its comfortable existence being Catholic lite (A Latinist jab at our lack of credibility as a full Church--and oftentimes a phrase used proudly by the liberal camp as a form of Episcopal slapstick).

In order to claim our true and full Catholicity we need to assert our unique role in the Mystici Corporis--the Mystical Body. We stopped playing Church when we took the words of Amos seriously: (21-24 The Message)

"I (The LORD) can't stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals.

I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.

When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want."

We are a just Church, a truly biblical Church: and if God wants "rivers of justice" than nothing can stop God's vision.

In regard to ++Rowan he has lost the battle--you can't stay Captain when most of your people are declaring mutany on both sides. ++It seems Akinola may become his deck boss--you may not like the deck boss, but he has enough support to be there. There is no "center" on a ship--you either choose mutany or loyalty.

If His Grace wants our Church to chose exlusion for a "season" or permanently then we have to jump ship--our mutany will not take the ship or most of her crew. I don't have a problem with being Episcopal while mentioning as an aside that we were once in the ship named "the Anglican Communion".

We cannot develop a communion ecclesiology without becoming like the Latin Church--they are even having trouble holding it together under the leadership of the Pope--and the Eastern Orthodox are so divided into New and Old Calendarist Jurisdictions that unity is not possible for them.

The Anglican project is also an experiment in what Dean Allen Jones of Grace Cathedral calls "the Catholic Church that hasn't happened yet." Indeed, the "Catholic Church" has not happened yet--we are just too human to let a divine reality manifest itself without tainting the process.

Unity needs division to clarify itself--like Orthodoxy needs heresy to state its position more clearly. To seperate for a season in order to procure greater visible unity, until the Anglican world has caught up, is a viable option. A traditionalist Catholic once told me that "the Episcopal Church is where the American Catholic Church will be in 50 years."

We are a time capsule into the future Church--of course people will not accept our vision of the universe--just like at one time people laughed at science fiction writers who wrote that we would have light without gas and fire or missions to Mars.

The Episcopal Church is a science fiction look into the human ecclesial destiny--one day everyone will say: "hey, remember when we used to say women cound't be priests and bishops or when gays and lesbians were not able to be partnered and bishops...funny isn't it?" The TEC is the Future Church--we are the Ekklesia of the 21st Century.

I realize Schori is still trying to hold the "centrist" view with nuances to the left occasionally in her speeches, and I also realize she wants to secure a place for women in Lambeth's future--but gay and lesbian mental health and social and spiritual stability is not lesser of a problem than world hunger and disease--It is not a bourgeois construct to develop a knowledge of one's sexuality.

The Church wants leadership and there is one way to do it with integrity: to own up to our baptismal ecclesiology rooted in the 1979 prayerbook and be honest that not only will we "refrain" from compromising that ecclesiology, but we will not tolerate a violation of that baptismal covenant by Global South Churches pushing truncated Evangelical Christianity or an idealised vision of Ango-Tridentine Catholicism down our throats.

I was called in my baptismal covenant to "respect the dignity of every human being"--and I will be condemned by my conscience if I do not live that out. Amen.

In Christ,

Robert H.

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