Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Elasticity of the Anglican Communion

There are segments still debating the Anglican Covenant prior to a vote at Convention.  Folks are still looking for reasons to either support or defeat the Covenant.  If there are pros and cons; if there are good things and bad things about the covenant then I believe less is more.

Let us begin with putting lipstick on a pig.  Many claim that the "new" version of the covenant is so much better than the old version.  That the basis for creating the covenant, namely Windsor 1.10 and the actions of both TEC and the Anglican Church in Canada in their radical inclusivity are no longer the point.  Well, I think a bad idea is a bad idea no matter how one dresses it up.  The pig, is still the pig.

Let us talk about the "consequences" clause of the covenant.  Better to be on the inside working to moderate those issues than to be on the outside?  What a waste of time and by the way, there will be times when one is not the majority nor could one swing a majority and then what?  We argue and we fight and we discuss and we debate and we endlessly struggle when our energy should/could be better spent working Christ's saving grace in the world. Why would anyone in their right Christian mind stop to argue about issues that have absolutely no bearing on our work in the world?  We have already spent way too much time on a document that has no real flavor and we must be about God's work in the world.  If we want to spend this much time on a concept how about we figure out what we, the Episcopal Church in the United States really do stand for and articulate that in some form of a strong, loving, Christian statement that brings people to TEC and through TEC to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior.  Wow! what a concept.

Finally, the Anglican communion is incredibly elastic.  For years we have struggled with evangelical, orthodox, liberal, high church and low church and all sorts of issues have come and gone.  Some times we hug everyone and sometimes we don't.  We have done this without benefit of primates and archbishops handing down their brand of Christianity.  The idea of "take it or leave it" is a false dichotomy that no one needs to subscribe to, lest of all us. Let's not take the elasticity out of the Anglican Communion and replace it with some half baked notion that if one archbishop is good than two must be better and a gaggle of archbishops must be best.Let us reject this document because we are much more open to God's word and much more able to move with the Spirit, that is what the elasticity does for all of us. 

The Anglican Covenant began as a bad idea, it continues to be a bad idea, and it continues to occupy our time way out of proportion.  We do not NEED a covenant, no one does.  Let us continue just as we are and get on with our Savior's business.  As Jesus once said, "Let the dead bury the dead."

No comments: