will speak has spoken before the Church of England’s General Synod, today. I’m curious to see what he says and the reaction.
The text of +Rowan’s address can be found here.
There is an underlying problem we face within Anglicanism – certain groups of people donâ€™t want their preconceived notions or beliefs challenged, they want to believe what they want to think supports their agenda or theo-ideology. +Rowan presents a paper about the necessity of secular British governmental structures making provision for communities of faith and their ability to order themselves and maintain their beliefs without State interference – for Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.
There results wild misinterpretations of +Rowanâ€™s comments in the lecture and interview, perpetuated by a virulent tabloid press and within the particular battles going on right now within British society. Rather than good Anglicans making sure the public understood the true intent of +Rowan with regard to a much-needed debate in ENGLAND, many Anglicans of a certain sort jumped on the secular-press bandwagon and excoriated the ABC. They aid and abed the opposition!
This is a real problem Iâ€™ve witnessed over my years within TEC and Anglicanism. I grew up in the American-Evangelical tradition in the U.S. and am thankful for it. When I became Anglican I noticed so many similarities with Anglican-Evangelicalism, yet realized early on that they were not the same thing. Too many American-Evangelicals migrated to Anglican-Evangelical parishes and were not instructed that there are definite differences between the two faith traditions. For instance, TEC and Anglican Provinces are Episcopal/Catholic in their structure – we are a Church of bishops and not â€œCongregational,â€ like most American-Evangelical churches. This has implications for every bit of our actions and the living out of the faith within this Church. This misunderstanding by former American-Evangelicals of Anglican-Evangelicalism is so apparent here on this blog. Likewise, within Anglican-Evangelicalism there is acceptance of and respect for the Anglican tradition of difference/comprehensiveness in theological perspective and Biblical interpretation, which is rarely present in present-day American-Evangelicalism (particularly of the politicized, culture-wars crowd).
So, what we have now is the infection of Anglican-Evangelicalism with the worst of politicized American-Evangelicalism (terribly supplanting the very good aspects of that tradition). One characteristic of the politicized American-Evangelicalism is the insistence that their particular theo-ideology must prevail because it is the only Truth of God (no room for any other possible interpretations or applications), therefore the end justifies the means and they cannot listen to â€œreasonâ€ because it is of the world. +Rowan writes, seculars misunderstand, but because the misunderstanding plays to the game-plan of the politicized group, they too run with it and make their own, regardless of whether the understanding is wrong, thus spreading misinformation or whatnot. This group of people does not want the truth, because it doesnâ€™t fit with their agenda. This is harsh, I know, but it is what I see happening all too often these days and within our current troubles. They have become just like too many pseudo-liberals within the Church, only on the opposite side of the spectrum.
It is a sad day for the cause of Christ when ideology takes the place of humility and relationship – when people would rather believe and perpetuate misunderstanding or even a lie than accept the truth. They would rather condemn +Rowan and perpetuate the wrong interpretation than correct the misunderstanding.