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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Too much time to think

Okay, the outlook is better: through a combination of herbal home remedies (echinacea, slippery elm bark tea), modern medicine (codeine-based cough syrup), and lots of sleep, things are improving rapidly. Sorry about the whining, folks. Been doing too much of that lately. Time to stop-- now.


One thing about staying still for a couple days; It's given me time to catch up on some of my reading, as well as on the news (or facsimiles thereof) coming out of Canterbury. It's certainly not the schismatic blast that some feared (or hoped?); but I'm not inclined to write it off as leading to nothing, either. I guess the way it sounds to me, is ominous-- with the potential for vague, unspecified consquences on the horizon. Whether this is because the primates have not made up their minds, or because they chose not to air the specifics for the press, I'm not sure.

Brother Jeff has a posting on this issue that makes some good points, and asks some good questions; but what caught my attention was in one of his comment responses: "...the REAL communion or Community to me," he says, "is global as much as it is local." Then he adds, "But that's just one Anglo-Catholic's opinion." Well, maybe not, Jeff, because I agree with you.

Further, I believe that we favor one side of that community over another at our peril, and to the detriment of the witness to which we are called as the body of Christ. In fact, that's what I see happening, on both sides of this issue.

Some have been acting and speaking in consideration of "the larger Communion" for many years, as a justification to leave unacknowledged and in pain the community of homosexual brothers and sisters in our midst. And then some acted, at Convention, in consideration of our brothers and sisters in New Hampshire; but without fully considering the impact on our brothers and sisters in Honduras, or Rwanda, or anywhere outside our borders. And now we are faced with the consequenses of these choices.

One of the books we're reading for our preaching class is called The Word Before the Powers, and there's much that author Charles Campbell says about "powers and principalities" that applies to the way we in the Anglican Communion have been behaving in these last few months. He talks about the strategies of the Powers to accomplish their purposes, and it breaks my heart that I see several of them being acted out-- on both sides of the current dustup. Consider:

-Negative Sanctions: "Conservative" repudiations, and threats to withdraw financial support from the national church (and remember, there were similar threats from "liberals," if the vote had not gone their way).

-Rewards and Promises: Avowals of acceptance and/or tolerance for those of differing opinions (that isn't really there) and righteous assurance for those who make "the right choice."

-Isolation and Division: 'nough said.

-Public Ritualizing of Relationships: With what little that did come conclusively out of the Canterbury meeting, this seems to be what it amounted to.

-Language and Image: Both factions are incredibly guilty of using "verbal inflation, libel, rumor, euphamism and coded phrases... [and] such profusion in speech and sound that comprehension is impaired." In other words, more concerned about sounding good than listening well.

For God's sake, and for the sake of the Gospel by which we are called, we have got to do better than this. But that's just one Evangelical Anglican's opinion.


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