Saturday, January 3, 2009

Patient Endurance My A**!

At The great risk of being quirky once again:

Father Mark has written a piece on the Anglican Communion Institute' latest rot on "Patient Endurance".  He asks us to read the entire article which I will also ask of each of you as well.  Here is the url:

I had some significant difficulty getting past this early on statement:

In a recent address, Bishop Duncan said of the proposed new province, “We need a unified body both to heal the divisions among ourselves and to give the broader Anglican Communion a unified and coherent partner with which to be in relationship.”  When taken in conjunction with other remarks he has made, it is clear that the goal of the “outside strategy” with which Bishop Duncan is associated is in fact not a new province but a replacement province–one that will take TEC’s place within the Anglican Communion. Given the nature of this goal it seems initially plausible to seek a province that lies “outside” TEC’s jurisdiction.

Well, shall we all collectively say "DUH!"  How about once more real loud and with great fervor, "DUH!"  Just where have these folks been?  Have they ever read the Chapman Memo?  In that memorandum, written by Robert Duncan's left hand man, Mark Chapman, the whole strategy is laid out clearly and unequivocally -- create a new province and have it replace the current province known as The Episcopal Church.  Now, this wonderful think tank (as Father Mark calls it) has come to this brilliant conclusion.  

Then, the "think tank" comes up with this gem:

 Our work is not to take this kingdom by force of design and tactic, but to make a faithful witness, practice faithful endurance, and wait upon the Lord to see what he will make of what we do and say.

Well, let's see, if we practice a little more endurance then we will wake up one morning and find that we all belong to the Anglican Church of North America.  These folks come to the party and finally realize after oh so many years that the real idea is to replace The Episcopal Church with a new province and the best they can come up with is "patient endurance".    They also add a whole bunch of added convictions and commitments that further weigh down the argument leaving the Episcopal Church in disarray.  

Then, in conclusion they come up with this beaut:

It seems that those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America have decisively entered the path toward a replacement province.  The time for debate about this choice has now past. Time and time alone will tell what future lies in store for this venture.

I would prefer not to wait.  Once again, I ask where is the plan?  I am hopeful that the Anglican Communion Institute is not the only Epsicopal "think tank".  I am desirous of a think tank that is a little quicker on the uptake than this one.  It is time to move on these malcontents.  Moderator Bob and Mr. "I never renounced my vows" Iker and Mr. "can't I be Pope too" Schofield as well as their henchmen Peter "lay presidency" Jensen, and Peter "I love all (well almost all) my people" Akinola and Henry "let me consecrate one more bishop" Orombi and Michael "Hey, I wanted to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury" Nazir Ali and the entire bunch need to be moved on into the next newest whatever, but certainly out of the Anglican Communion.  

The Anglican Communion Institute is correct about one thing, the inside and outside strategy is no longer functional.  From the outset of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America a certain tension between the various factions has been what has moved the church along.  No longer content to retain this tension certain folks have decided to start something new. They knew this when they started the process way back with now retired bishop Wantland.  I am hopeful that the door does not hit them on the way out, that can be painful.  One thing is clear, the Episcopal Church was, is now and I am hopeful, will continue to be the church of full inclusion.  This is the floor, not the ceiling. This is a non-negotiable issue.  Father Mark, in a prior post, discusses the minimum action required by GC 2009 in this regard and many excellent comments have added to this discussion.  

What we need is committed Christian action.   Somebody, somewhere needs to build a plan and then implement it and soon.  And maybe we can disagree on exactlywhat that action may look like but one thing is certain, it does not look anything like "Patient Endurance".

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