Comments: ECUSA: an interesting dialogue

I sometimes wonder whether the conflict within ECUSA isn't made worse by it's efforts to remain within the Communion, and would love to ask liberal bishops and voters: "Most Anglicans have similar views/attitudes on Christian faíth and conduct to the people within ECUSA who you probably think of as trouble makers. Do you *really* want to do remain 'in Communion' with such people?" If they could admit to themselves that they want to be distinctively different, they might also find it much easier to resolve their internal problems with "rebellious" bishops, clergy and churches.

In the meantime ECUSA is, I think, finding it impossible to accept that many evangelical/traditionalist Anglicans in the US feel the same as the majority outside, and treating them very badly, because they are fighting to maintain some sort of 'communion' phantasy.

Posted by Dave at Monday, 12 June 2006 at 10:38pm BST

With the proviso that I *don't know* whether "Most Anglicans have similar views/attitudes on Christian faíth and conduct to the people within ECUSA who you probably think of as trouble maker"---only that their bishops do!

Then Dave:

"Do you *really* want to do remain 'in Communion' with such people?"

Yes, I absolutely do. It's not *my* Table, any more than it's yours, Dave: it's Christ's. Thank God! :-)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 13 June 2006 at 1:25am BST

Realignment makes sense, but perhaps not the way the traditionalists dream of. Although they often claim that mainline churches in North America and established (or formerly established) churches in Europe are dying and are doomed to continue to do so, I think liberals/progressives would be energized to be able to commune with each other across Reformation-derived boundaries, and develop a dynamic expression of progressive, reformed catholicism.

In my heart, I long not for the likes of ++Abuja but for the likes of ++Uppsala and ++Utrecht. Imagine a new communion, emerging ecumenically from the old straightjackets of confessionalism (and the new ones that ++Abuja et al would thrust upon us if they could). From the Anglican stream, imagine ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, plus the progressives and other modernity-dwelling communicants of the CofE, plus the Churches of Wales and Ireland and the Scottish Episcopal Church, plus most of the Anglican Church of Australia (minus Sydney) and the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, NZ, and Polynesia, plus the IAEB in Brazil and the Lusitanian Church in Portugal, plus the Nihon Sei Ko Kai in Japan, plus the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, plus bits here and there of Anglicans in Mexico and the rest of Latin America...and add to them the (Evangelical Lutheran) Churches of Sweden and Denmark, of Norway and Estonia and Finland, and from North America add the ELCA and the ELCIC...plus the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht...plus sizeable portions of the United Methodists and of the Methodist Church of Great Britain (which is considering anyway adopting the historic episcopate, and the United Methodists could be brought into the historic episcopate the way ELCA is in the process of receiving it)...Imagine a stream of the historic episcopate that is fed from the waters of Canterbury *and* Uppsala *and* Utrecht...Imagine progressive reformed catholics throughout the world being no longer separated from each other by hoary and outdated denominational borders, but realigning to offer the world a coherent witness, voice, and vision of the Gospel, and missioning together in ways that rapidly-transforming Global South urbanites may, within a generation, find more compelling than the theological freezer in which ++Abuja et al wish them to stay...Imagine.

I think we would energize each other, and the world -- and all for *His* sake.

Posted by Nadine Kwong at Tuesday, 13 June 2006 at 3:31am BST

Dear JCF, are you sure ? If you really want to be in commmunion with them then you should be shouting loudly that ECUSA has to take "full account" of their beliefs! And that isn't an easy thing to do. These are the people who find no alternative in Scripture but to reject same-sex sex as sinful, who say that your love is unholy. It will mean rolling back "full inclusion" of LGBTQ people. They assert that Bishops and Synods have no authority to reject what Scripture says... and are rejecting the authority of local Bishops - risking their careers and church buildings and fund, and/or completely leaving ECUSA for African or Asia Provinces. They can't accept homosexuality.

Is communion with them what you really want ? Will you pay the price ? They can't and won't ! I don't think you want to either...

Posted by Dave at Tuesday, 13 June 2006 at 10:40pm BST

Glad to see you reading my mind, Dave. ;-/

{sarcasm off}

"If you really want to be in commmunion with them then you should be shouting loudly"

I really think there is too much, rather than too little, shouting...

"Communion" means coming to the *common table of Our Lord*: nothing more and nothing less. There are no preconditions, there will be no "rolling back".

There's Christ. There he is, welcoming ***ALL*** to come and feed on him. Either you take him up on his offer (me! me! me! Feed me!), or you don't.

I pray everyone answers affirmatively to Christ's invitation: that would make me extremely happy :-D ...

...but I won't be held *responsible*, for anyone who says "No". That's their responsibility, alone.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 12:24am BST

Right on, Nadine! This is exactly the type of Reformed Catholic church that I could support, too! Let Sydney, Nigeria, Argentina, etc. go their own ways, and we’ll go ours. Who knows, such a development might attract progressive Roman churches, too like Holland and Denmark.

Posted by Kurt at Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 1:23pm BST

Dear Nadine and Kurt, the prospect is appealing from this side of the fence too!

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 8:41pm BST
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