Friday, April 24, 2009

Politics and Power vs. Theology and Christian Living

A few weeks ago Mark Harris published his 1,000th posting.  In it he laid out 15 items that he "had learned about life in Anglican-Land.  At that time I asked, and received his blessing to do a few take-offs on those 15 items.  Now seems to be a good time to begin.

3. Lambeth 1998 1.10 was a disaster, being bad politics unaccompanied by theological underpinnings.

4. Authority delegated to select Lambeth resolutions as "the mind of the communion" is without warrant.  The politicalization of the Lambeth Conference in 1998 was unfettered and the blame lies with Archbishop Carey.  As a result it was the last Lambeth Conference to make plenary resolutions.  The supposedly advisory and consultative nature of the conference was compromised beyond repair.

5. An enhanced role for the Primates was a bad idea.  The increase de facto authority of the Primates Meeting has not been a source of unity, but of divison.  

Rev. Mark Harris

We have seen these three items Mark discussed earlier truly come home to roost  in a huge way.  First,  the so called Covenant document has moved from being an instrument of the Communion to a blatant political power play.  It has nothing to do with theology or religion or Christian living or anything else.  It is a group of bishops, a very small (in lots of different ways) group of bishops plotting on how to force a group of provinces either into or out of "The Anglican Communion".  If this document ever was about Christian living and Christian relationships it certainly lost its veneer on the Ridley draft.  It is, plain and simple, hate the sins and get rid of the sinner.  Let's cast them all into the fires of hell.  Never mind what the Bible says or how Christ taught us to love our neighbors and how all people are welcome to the table or even let's let God sort it out -- nope - it's open the pit and here they come!

Who has fostered this idea?  Well, Mark hit it squarely when he talked about the primates council.  This group of GAFCONEERS has really taken their work seriously.  They have come together, kept the primates they like, thrown out all those pesky women, and made it a good ole boys club.  Not only do they get to meet and have drinks together and talk about the "good old days" but now they actually think they can run the entire Anglican Communion.  In fact, they have already said that the Archbishop of Canterbury is superfluous, and Archbishop Rowan Williams has pretty much proven them right -- i.e, the position may not be superfluous but the person occupying the position seems to be.  He has allowed this group to simply walk all over the communion and in some cases, most notably in the General Convention coming up may actually help these vicious old men in their quest for power.  That is correct, they have had a taste of power and have become drunk on it.  It is time for the Archbishop of Canterbury, this one preferred but the next if necessary, to put all "all these bad boys in detox" as soon as possible.

Finally, Lambeth and the meetings of the primates have become nothing more than a show and tell of political power.  The conferences deal endlessly with stupid, nonsensical politics.  How about these meeting go back to what the best of our provincial leaders viewed these meetings - -how about they talk and meet and discuss issues that will have a truly lasting effect.  How about they talk about things Christ would have us talk about?  Christian living, Christian relationships and how the various provinces share in the gospel of the Lord.  Seems to me that when one meets every ten years one ought to be about something more substantial than "I ain't taking communion with no wemmin!" 

It is time to move back to Godly respect for all of us and Christian love and way from the political games of the Primates that has been fomented by such groups as GAFCON, ACNA, ACI, Communion Partners, Common Cause Partnership, etc and once again lead the world in faith and understanding and with Godly love.  Most of you folks aren't very good at this poltical game anyway.  Leave politics to the politicians. Let's restore a little peace and quiet so we can at least all start praying again!

Thanks Mark!

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