I had forwarded to me, by my friend Anthony, an article (commentary) by George Pitcher in the Telegraph (UK) concerning comments made by the good Canon I mentioned in a previous post. Pitcher was not pleased with the Canon’s estimation of the world and the Church.
Here are a couple examples from the article:
Meanwhile… Virtueonline… declares that it is “the height of western Anglican arrogance to perpetuate the myth that the West holds sway over the communion.
“That day is long gone along with the Elizabethan Settlement and the British Empire.
“A new global Anglican Communion day is dawning and its strength is coming from new global quarters.”
So this conference of Anglican dissenters is not about homosexuality at all… Nor is it really about Biblical authority…
It is simply about where the locus of Anglican authority should reside. And it is driven by a post-colonial political imperative; the West has used and abused the Global South and now itâ€™s pay-back time.
In this worldview, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is a â€œrelicâ€ (Canon Samuelâ€™s word) of old empire, who must be replaced, presumably by the likes of Archbishop Akinola…
This presumes that Dr Williams is a political leader to be overthrown by an official opposition. He is nothing of the sort… The Archbishop of Canterbury is primus inter pares in the worldwide Anglican Communion, holding together (or trying to) a loose federation of global churches, often at odds with one another but on a common journey.”
Well, yes. I left out some of the more “descriptive” impressions Pitcher detailed in describing Akinola and GAFCON participants because I think he goes too far. I will say again, a reason these kinds of groups use terminology like “post-colonial” or “relic” to describe the “old” Anglican Communion and Archbishop is because the “old” guard does not do what they want. They imagine that since they have more numbers at the moment that they should, can, and will dictate what everyone else must do and believe, and do because God told this group what we all should and should not do and believe. The sad thing for me is that I actually agree with some of the stuff they stress, but I will not simply believe anything because a group tells me to. Too many of the members of this kind of group or mindset do want to dictate rather than live in the messy world of process (and I’m NOT talking about Process Theology), wrestling with very difficult issues, and critically thinking which often lead to different opinions.
Difference in belief is not good, in this way of thinking. God has established one Truth that is discernible in all ways and for all times without question, and to question is to repudiate and doubt. Does history bare this out? Funny thing is, they want to hold onto the “old, tried, and true” systems of thinking, believing, and doing when it comes to issues of morality or theology or praxis, but want to jettison the “old, tried, and true” when it comes to issues of governance, authority, and relationships – even in the “old” idea that the validity of the Sacraments do not depend on the celebrant’s human condition. Is this another example of the shift in the way we deal with Truth seen between the Modernist and Post-Modernist systems?
If there is opposition to their dictates from the “West” (which includes provinces and bishops in Africa, Asia, South American, and other parts of the “Global South”) it is because of… what? heresy, apostasy, capitulation to the heathen, pagan culture, Satan’s deception, and on and on.
These are convenient charges that sound very politically correct. Isn’t that strange?
WELL, we go on fighting within the world’s third largest expression of the religion of Christianity. All the while, this comment posted to the article sums up what I imagine most people think (if they even know anything about what is going on):
Reading this reminded me of why I consider the CoE to be a complete irrelevance. I can just about “get” Roman Catholicism, although I am not a member of that Church…
At the moment, it happens to be divided by a bitter internal feud, and its members have fallen into the common error of thinking that if they feel strongly about their feud, it must represent important issues.
The fact is, however, that like a feuding family, it is only those inside the feud who think it important while the rest of us look on in bemusement, wondering what all the fuss is about.
What’s amazing to me is how many of your readers, on either side, seem to imagine that this feud has any significance at all in the wider world. The spats between my pet cats make more sense to me that this nonsense.
Posted by… on June 26, 2008 11:07 PM