Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who Says The Anglican Communion is Broken?

There has been an incredible amount of talk about the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Covenant.  Much discussion has circled around the Anglican Covenant.  But who says the Anglican Communion needs a covenant?  Who says the Anglican Communion is dysfunctional?  Who says the Communion is broken?

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Anglican Communion is functioning as it always has and as it always should! Whenever there is a problem to be fixed the first thing one ought to do is name the problem.  I have heard no one name the problem, have you?  If one cannot name the problem then how is one to fix it?  How is one to determine what the fix is if no one can determine what the problem is? 

So what is the problem?  Some groups do not like women's ordination though it has been around throughout the communion for thirty or more years.  Others do not like the issue full inclusion -- though there is sound biblical grounding for that.  Still others think divorce is either a big thing or no thing depending on who and where you are.  And still others do not like the Book of Common Prayer as developed and used in one or more provinces.  And so what do we do?  We argue and sometimes we yell and sometimes we scream at and by and through each other.  Sometimes we are not civil and sometimes some of us lose our tempers and refuse to go to the rail with the rest of us.

Sounds to me like one big family trying to live with each other.  See, I come from a family with 7 siblings and two parents and the escapades that go on both now and in the past are pretty much the escapades that go on inside the Anglican Communion.  And let's face it, relationships are not just built on hugs and kisses they are also built on arguments and making up. 

So what is the problem?  I do not think there is a problem and therefore no fix is necessary.  True, some within the family do not want to argue -- so would rather have this nice and smooth sailing for ever and ever.  They are the ones that do not want to argue and discuss and kind of spit and chew.  But there are those in every family.  They are the ones that can't stand messy messes.  But our communion is built on messy messes.  That is how we grow and live and learn and ultimately get closer.  Making up gets to be that much more fun (well most of the time). 

So what should we do?  We just continue to live our lives as we see the gospel leading us - here and abroad.  Those that are having hissy-fits can continue to have hissy-fits and if they must leave they must leave (keep in mind the prodigal son story).  We and the rest of the communion just move forward in love and discussion.  We continue the dialogue as we have and we continue to move -- sometimes in our own ways and sometimes together.  Isn't that what the communion is all about?  Isn't that what family is all about?

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