The charge of “colonial structures”

One thing to consider concerning the African Anglican provinces and their conceptualization of the expression of the Christian faith beyond their creation by Anglican-Evangelical missionary societies is this: perhaps the greatest growth in numbers of Christians of both indigenous and foreign denominations in Africa is among the very American “Prosperity Gospel” organizations. Within the South American context, American Pentecostals and Charismatic denominations and organizations predominate. American missionary endeavors have been very, very successful, even in influencing non-Evangelical or non-Pentecostal/Charismatic churches. These dynamic and explosive movements cannot help but influence Anglicanism within African and South American provinces, particularly when many Africans see themselves as being in competition with Islam. This seems as culturally bound on their own part as is their accusation that Northern Hemisphere or “Western” Anglicans have capitulated to the same culture concerning homosexuality.
I think we can see the influence in the very Evangelical leanings of the GAFCON statement, particularly in its denial of the centrality of the See of Canterbury as being essential to true Anglican identity. In their formulation of Anglicanism, it ceases being a “Church Catholic” and becomes just another “Protestant denomination” that follows Anglican liturgical norms. This new denomination will be predominately Charismatic and American-Evangelical and if Anglo-Catholics are tolerated, it will be only a shallow toleration.
Their insistence on following the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 (very Protestant) and especially the Thirty-Nine Articles (not only quite Protestant, but quite Calvinist/Reformed) make this move even more apparent.
Someone commented on the posting of the Jerusalem Declaration by Ruth Gledhill of the TimesOnline (UK) that, “This is the Oxford Movement in reverse… which wanted to get back to the 1549 [BCP].” and “There are so many holes in this document, and so much self deception… it is hard to believe that this forms a credible basis for unity and orthodoxy. It avoids key areas…and is a mockery of the 39 articles, when it includes bishops who openly repudiate the injunctions in the articles.”
The titled of Gledhill’s piece is: “A very ‘Anglican’ schism.”
I don’t see traditionalist Anglo-Catholics lining up to follow this new denomination-in-the-making, despite their agreement on many things moral and Scriptural. But, when groups have a common enemy and scapegoat upon which to focus, it often breeds strange bed-fellows.
Dan Martin writes good stuff about all this.
Finally, this one line from the Gafcon final statement kind of amazes me:

“We can only come to the devastating conclusion that ‘we are a global Communion with a colonial structure.’”

The whole “colonial” thing just doesn’t hold water. It is a politically-correct statement (ironically used by conservatives) as an attempt at justifying a rejection of the See of Canterbury as the center of Anglicanism. The reason they stress this, IMHO, is only because the ABC has not done what they have demanded him to do. If he had (or would) he would be heralded as a great Archbishop, upholder of the true faith, and all this talk of rejecting the See of Canterbury would never be heard.
Aside from that, in my mind “colonialism” necessitates forced acceptance of “stuff” from the colonizing entity upon the indigenous society. This has absolutely not happened! If it had, the “Western” provinces would be insisting that the “Global South” provinces accept our culture, our standards, and the stand taken by a majority of Anglican members in these provinces that homosexuals may well be brought into the structures of the Church without violating a more correct understand of the Scriptures. No one or no province has done this. Within the historical structures of Anglicanism, no one could. This is the difference between the old, historical Anglican Communion and the new “Anglican” organization that is developing. The new organization will impose itself upon all the provinces under it’s domain. It may truly be a world denomination, but it will be one more akin to the Church of Rome than the Anglican Communion.
Text of the Final Gafcon Statement

What we do to ourselves…

I preached a sermon yesterday from the Old Testament (we are in the process of switching to the Revised Common Lectionary, but yesterday the reading was still from the BCP Lectionary – Isaiah 2:10-17). I preached on haughtiness and pride and the trouble it gets us into.
I read the final statement from the “Global Anglican Future Conference” (GAFCON) in Jerusalem . It was expected that this conference would set the stage for actual development of an alternative international Anglican organization/Church, and while the statement states that they are not leaving the Anglican Communion they have in fact embarked on such a path if we take historical Anglican structures to be the rule.
Haughtiness and pride (perhaps hubris and vainglory are better terms) will always win-the-day when ideology (whether political, social, or theological) becomes the god unto which we give ourselves. Among the leadership of those Anglican provinces and organizations that insist on pushing their notion of “correctness” based on identity-politics and political-correctness (dressed up in the language of social-justice) regardless of the outcomes and also those provinces and organizations that demand strict adherence to a particular form of the faith and the capitulation of all to a particular Scriptural interpretation and moral perspective (dressed up in language “reform” or of purity of devotion and theology), among these groups their social and theological ideology blinds them. Vainglory, pride, haughtiness rule because humility requires admitting that each of us and our understandings and our organizations could be wrong and that we all need to compromise. Anglican comprehensiveness is defeated by the results of the attitudes and actions of both groups, both sides, both perspectives.
No one wins, despite their want to believe so. The cause of Christ always looses. Our faith is a faith that rests on relationship – our relationship with God as we strive to love God with all of our hearts, all of our minds, and all of our souls. It rests on relationships as we strive, with God’s help, to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we descend to defining the faith only by our pet creeds, tenants, or declarations, we deny the essence of what Jesus did – he restored the possibility of relationship. He didn’t create a new religion. We did.
Read more here:
Ruth Gledhill from the TimesOnline gives us, “Gafcon: a longer look.”
Guardian UK by Riazat Butt:
Conservative Anglicans form breakaway church in revolution led from the south
Conservative Anglicans form global network