Thursday, 15 March 2007

Stephen Bates: Anglicans should make the break

QUESTION: What is the one thing you would most like to see happen by this time next year?

I would like to see the division of the worldwide Anglican communion. Despite his prolonged and selfless efforts to keep it together over the last few years, Archbishop Rowan Williams ought to fail, because the communion has become irreconcilably divided over the issue of homosexuality. It would be better for the two factions to move apart, so that they can stop sniping at each other and start focusing on other issues. Read more

1 comment:

Daniel Roe said...

Here’s an alternative scenario – take a gander at Anglican Mainstream a coalition of people from the Anglo-Catholic, Charismatic and Evangelical traditions. I mean take the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelicals – I mean think of the aggro in the Victorian days – or you could fastBackward to the Tudors to look at their respective “ancestors” the Catholics and the Reformers – hmm. In the same way that the Tudors and the Victorians would never have guessed that homosexuality would be an issue, perhaps there’s some issue as yet unknown that could split the church in a new way and unite Anglo-Catholics, Charismatics, Evangelicals and Liberals – both straight and gay – onward and upward.
OK – how about this then? Evangelicals are prepared to go along with Anglo-Catholic mass? So perhaps Ridley and Latimer were perhaps a tad (forgive me) paranoid – or is it just a matter of timing? What was unacceptable to the Reformers is now fine – “new occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth – they must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth”
Aye – perhaps there is something in the C of E mantra, “Now is not the time” – as I understand the Windsor Report, it wasn’t that what the US bishops had done was wrong in itself – no, it was simply the timing – they hadn’t waited for everyone else to catch up.
Well – there you go then – but there is something that tends to get overlooked by members of the commissions, synods, and by the reporters and journalists – I mean – is there really someOne upThere – I mean (sorry to use the “G” word) – er, um – God? I mean does, er, God have any views on the matter – or even if he does, is he entitled to impose his ideas on OUR church?
Well the English Reformers reckoned it was God’s Church and they set out the 39 Articles which they reckoned (in the context of their day) what God wanted – so if you can line up with the 39 Articles you were “in” and if you couldn’t – well, you weren’t. Well over those who didn’t have fought to be included – so Anglo-Catholicism is in – and so are women priests – well, stTracys was against (in principle) but Katy the Curate did a jolly good job and – well, there you go – pragmatism – so who’s to say that gays won’t be get into the bigTent in 100 years time – and be fighting to stop the next lot of outsiders getting in?
OK – this is getting a bit silly, but we need to stop and ask some basic questions – by the way, did you know the idea of two different communions is not such a novelty – I mean the Anglican Communion is already split: I mean what happened to the ministers who were kicked out in 1662, or the guys who left to form the Methodist Church? How does the Bible define a church – or a Christian? Hmmm