Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ears to Canterbury's Door

I had a thought today while reading some of the news around the Catho-sphere. Why are so many of us obsessed and biting our nails when reading about the demise of the Anglican Communion? I read at least something every single day about it. One day they are arguing over gays, the next day they are ready to split about which bishop they follow, and some days are apparently spent in court suing each other over church property.

I have to admit that even I have watched their problems with great interest. Not because I want bad things to happen but because every time they split somehow we perceive that as a chance for them to re-unite with us...or at least part of them.

I do wonder though if sometimes we're paying too much attention to their family fights. It feels like we've got our ears pressed to Canterbury's door in anticipation of something big coming down. I worry though whether or not we always have the best intentions.

To me it seems the best way to come together is through charity and persuasion to the truth of the Church, and not in leaping to the rescue of a few disoriented conservative Anglicans. That sort of conversion might only lead to reversion somewhere down the line. Not as well developed as I would like, but those were my thoughts nonetheless.


cranky said...

You're probably correct, at least in a theoretical way. I. on the other hand, have long been liberated from the restraints of propriety, of restraint, and of being nice.

That means I advocate how we handled scooping up Nazi rocket scientists at the close of WW II: We perched off stage until the moment was right, then swooped in like vultures to pick up men and materials at bargain basement prices.

Moonshadow said...

"schadenfreude" is in the vernacular with a vengeance of late. But you deny it applies. Very well.

I think the rest of us sighs with cautious relief, "There, but by the grace of God ..." in their regard.

For the non-hierarchical Christian bodies, it's the next-best thing to watching Rome crumble. Those who bow to a central authority point and cry, "See what happens?"

They are struggling to deal openly and fairly with some very difficult issues. Ironically, their sincerity and integrity may be their undoing in the end.

cranky said...

I don't know what "shodenfreunde" is. So, I don't know if it exists or not.

Appears to me the ECUS left the Bible, left Tradition, and left rational thought for the fabled realms of environmentalism, political correctness, and homosexual politics.

Now they are reaping and whining as
membership drops away. That's why I say turn on a welcome light, get the coffee ready, snap up suitable clergy, and pray for those living in New Hampshire.

And nobody's "dealing openly and fairly" with nothing. The liberals took control of ECUS, living well on the shrinking endowments left by rich Episcopalians of earlier generations. These liberals (60's folks had to grow up and go some place)finally went too far for the international communion. Sane Anglicans could only accept so much foolishness. Home base being England, they had accepted a great deal.

Of course there are a remnant of good Anglicans who promote Christ as the second person of the trinity. NT Wright, for example. But their press notices see themselves more as elevating the human spirit and stopping the oppression of somebody or other than Christ crucified.

In short, the ECUS have become something akin to Unitarians with the added feature of a lot of empty buildings, beautiful ritual, and a presiding Bishop given to rainbow robes.

But while nobody paid close attention, African Anglicans grew in number. And they really actually believe in Jesus dying to save us--and they really believe salvation and self-actualization aren't synonymous terms. Who knows, the may not even believe in Bultmann?

Well. Africa pulled the plug, sorta. Even gave a deadline.

And by the way, non-hierarchical bodies are generally too busy growing to pay much attention to ECUS. In their eyes "Whiskypalians" believe in nothing definable enough to be all that for or against. Many would hold that the only thing ECUS takes much of a stand on is that they aren't against sins defined in the Bible. And most of the right wing (isn't that the non-hierarchical to which you refer?) do like John Stott.

And as far as their sincerity,if they are sincerely non-Biblical, they are sincerely wrong. Being sincere that two plus two is five doesn't get even partial credit
in the real world.

In parting, are you Catholic? Come join us if you're not. Get on the winning team. We have rules and grace. What a deal!

Moonshadow said...

I appreciate your comments, cranky, but none of mine were addressed to you. :-)

All the Christian world is watching, as Matt says. The Anglican communion is living in a fish bowl, kyrie eleison. We're all rubbernecking.

The venerable "via media" gets it from all sides.

Me, Catholic? That's affirmative. Cheers.

cranky said...

"I'm so vain, you can bet I thought your blog was about me."

At my age and with my disposition, I was spoling for a fight. I apologize for my mistake. Write it off to brain damage, testosterone poisoning, and too much time on my hands.

I probably should go lie down until the shame of it all dimishes.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton