I contributed a post to the House of Bishops/House of Delegates listserv this morning. Here it is:
To liberals, to conservatives, heck, to anyone like myself who is somewhere in between, the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians:
"I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all." (Eph. 4:1-6; from the readings For the Unity of the Church)
This should be so basic and should be commonly acknowledged, but despite what any of us might think or want, God is the one who determines the make up of the one body, the Church. The determination of who is in and who is out sits squarely with God, and no one else. Our church structures, our organizations, our councils, and our conventions are meaningless in the grand scheme of things - none will bend God's arm to include or exclude any one or any group. Thank God I am not God!
I came to Anglicanism because I believe in the ethos of the Anglican Way. I will remain Anglican in that sense even if there is not place for me in the structures of this denomination, whether as a gay man or as one who has strong evangelical/conservative sympathies. Regardless of whether the Anglican Communion dissolves into history, God determines whether any of us are individually members of the one Body of Christ. In humility and integrity, all I can do is love God with all my being and pray that God enables me to love my neighbor as myself. As much as my heart aches for this Church and the loss I sense coming, I know that I know that I know that nothing can separate any of us who bind unto ourselves the strong name of the Trinity from the love and grace of Christ. This isn't naivety, but hope and faith in the one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Kibitzer, Student, General Theological Seminary