Comments: GS: Anglican Covenant contribution

Graham Kings does like his analogies: one minute it is watercourses and next minute it is beating drums. Here he is trying to extend the constituency approving the Covenant to include Affirming Catholicism, seen as different from the Modern Churchpeople's Union: he has debated with me that I am at the extreme of liberalism and thus opposed to a Covenant and he sees Affirming Catholicism as liberal *catholic* as opposed to MCU as *liberal* catholic. Therefore Affirming Catholicism is more likely to be pro-Covenant. I.m not sure if it has made its position clear yet.

As for this argument, the notion that there is a Covenant, and some accept it and others are associate status is an old argument and won't wash.

Those who, say, subscribe to the Lambeth Quadrilateral but not an added Covenant are not going to accept second class status. Clearly there are implications for the order of minisry and communion. If this happens, and those who accept the Covenant include selective literalists (and their interpretations put on to others as a set of ongoing moralistic demands), then there will be many within Churches who will seek not associate status but full status with those others. In other words, to accept some having associate status is not to pick off the odd recalcitrant Church but to cause a split.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 12:01am BST

"No pain no gain" is a popular sporting motto.

The world collectively prayed for a solution to terrorism when planes were flown into the World Trade Centre. God heard that call, to solve terrorism involves solving the paradigms that justify acts of violence, intimidation and autocracy. Throughout history leaders have sought out priests to justify their conduct. Terrible regimes and offences are done when they find priests that are willing to placate or collude in the repression of both their own people as well as the outcastes and neighbours.

We are on the brink of biological engineering that is going to stretch the boundaries of what it means to be human. We are dealing with AIDS pandemic which brings out in slow motion the full spectrum of human sexuality and conduct. We are going to be dealing with global mass refugees as we grapple with global warming.

Spirit is stretching us and damaging a few cells in the process. Yet athletes such as body builders will tell you is that they work out sufficiently to tear tissues because the healed tissues are stronger than what they had before.

Eve was annointed guardian of this planet and humanity because she enjoyed companionship, got bored with the predictable, was pragmatic that mistakes happen and understood that change involved risk. Adam might have been the tag along spouse who was meant to protect and provide, but this world was never meant to be completely structured and ordered. Eve was annointed because she understood and liked the creative possibilities. If Adam is sick of innovation and solving problems, he is welcome to move on to a more perfect and ordered level of reality and take his drinking partners and their cohorts with him.

In the meantime, Eve is enjoying watching humanity evolve and is looking forward to God sending her a companion that is genuinely gentle, good-humoured, pragmatic and practical. It's not three year public speaking tour with a three day grand finale to convince her this time. It's a marathon. The Baptiser of all worthy prophets is not annointing anyone until they have earned her personal trust.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 12:21am BST

"...there may well be parts of the Communion for whom this sacrifice is too great."

Too great for the C of E. Can't see how subordinating Synod to an unaccountable collective papacy "will promote our Anglican pattern of synodical governance". It threatens to undermine our polity and autonomy.

It also means illiberal opinion will determine a universal policy on the gay question.


Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 12:44am BST

The "stretching" analogy is plain silly - it would be interesting to know which "co-author" came up with it. To take what Robert Runcie preached at Lambeth 1988 and quote it as evidence of what he would say in the wake of developments since then, particularly the varied developments the past ten years, verges on dishonesty. Note that this communiqué is issued by Fulcrum (a click on "headlines" on the top-bar will give some idea of what we're talking about here). How will Affirming Catholics react to what appears to be an attempt to use their name to give a quasi-official status to this document?

"Evangelical, reasonable and catholic." All things to all men, for certain.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 12:57am BST

Afirming Catholicism. Ugh, if that's where this thing is going then I'm going somewhere else. I'm not staying in a church that holds "interdependence" with a gaggle of fag-bashers.

Posted by Curtis at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:11am BST

Stretching is good. :-)

Stretching into a covenant may well be good.

Should one, however, stretch until one has embraced invidious and illegal discrimination
(or its predecessor chattel slavery)as well as bigotry and prejudice, even though some of our beloved communicants have done?

It appears that a great majority of Anglicans don't want this to be a deal breaker, and thus it seems clear that any covenant which would satisfy the present threatening schismatics is impossible.

YMMV

Posted by Tim Stewart at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:32am BST

If the covenant means interdependence and stretching of categories, then that is to be welcomed. One area in which such interdependence and stretching could most luminously be shown is in recognition of the interdependence of Christians of different sexual vocations: gay, lesbian, heterosexual etc. Stretching of categories could involve amplification of the Pauline gospel of freedom and love to integrate recognition of the loving and responsible experience of gays and gay couples into the texture of a Christian vision.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 5:25am BST

I am curious: which of these clerical gentlemen has any substantial number of gays and lesbians in his parish? As assisting clergy? Serving at the altar? Members of their PCC?

Jut asking....

Posted by Crescens at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 6:09am BST

Oh dear....looks like the "anti-covenant" brigade (i.e. anti any kind of discipline or order in the AC)cannot count on the "open" evangelicals NOR even the sensible liberals who can see that it just does not make sense for an organisation to try and hold contradictory views at the same time....unless it wants to self-destruct or be paralysed by internal squabbling.

It is just common sense that there is an agreed covenant.....especially when we see what the subversion of Lambeth 1.10 has led to in the AC (ie chaos and a pathetic spectacle to the rest of the world)

Posted by NP at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 10:19am BST

crescens - what would that prove?

you know if they believe in upholding the teaching of the church, they would have nobody in leadership who would not agree with Lambeth 1.10?

Posted by NP at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 11:12am BST

What Pluralist and the anti convenanters are consistantly failing to do is to provide a clear justification why they are not even willing engage in a process towards a covenant, the content of which remains to be finalised, and the process towards which allows plenty of time for consultation. It is as though the are supporters of a team tryng to call foul before the whistle has blown to sart the game.

The convenant is necessary in some form as the old order has been shown not to work. The vote in synod is to recognise that. The actual content will come back again. There is no practical reason for the doubtful to vote it away at this stage, unless of course you are in favour of ecclesiastical anarchy, which clearly some on this thread are.

Posted by Simon Cawdell at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 2:16pm BST

Curtis - this strikes me as being totally out of line with "Affirming Catholicism", which is a liberal catholic group, a counterbalance to "Forward in Faith". It is in favour of women's ordination and, broadly, of gay ordination. Jeffrey John is a prominent supporter.

http://www.affirmingcatholicism.org.uk/pages/default.asp?sId=0

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 2:21pm BST

Our three-legged stool comprising Scripture/Tradition/Reason, is joined by Catholic/ Evangelical, Orthodox/Heterodox, Conservative/Liberal, Traditionalist/Modern wings on everything from theology and ethics to worship and ecclesiology.

Funny how, post-Colenso, we got along quite amiably with such diverse views and practices until - Shock, Horror: Gays spoilt the party by being a bit more open.

Windsor tried unsuccessfully to detach itself from the presenting issue. But as we all know, The Covenant is a hasty attempt to solve the gay problem once and for all, not any other aspect of Communion life.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 2:35pm BST

"SUBVERSION of Lambeth 10.1", yet. Back on the "Four legs good, two legs bad" mantra. "Same old, same old", eh, NP?

How 'bout subversion of Lambeth V.13 ("Episcopal Responsibilities and Diocesan Borders") and Lambeth '88 resolution 72 ("affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop or priest of this Communion to exercise episcopal or pastoral ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the ecclesiastical authority thereof.")?

http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1998/1998-5-13.cfm

http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1988/1988-72.cfm

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 2:41pm BST

In answer to crescens - this one does (categories one, three and four anyway, and two would be welcome too). I am not yet ready to assume that covenant is going to be an excuse for persecution of LGBT people, just because some want to make it so. Joseph O'Leary (I really hope that isn't an avatar) sums up my own angle on all this really well

Posted by Jonathan Clark at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 2:52pm BST

I can accept the stretching analogy, but like all analogies this one has its limits. Materials can be stretched to good purpose - as long as the materials are sufficiently flexible and durable to survive the process. I've been watching the America's Cup racing a bit. New Zealand lost one race to the Swiss when a small flaw in a spinaker sail became a tear, and then a shred.

The "material" of the Anglican Communion may well stand up to a careful, gentle stretching. A longer, well debated process may well produce a Covenant that all can sign on to. Remember that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church committed us to participate in a Covenant process.

However, too much weight has been laid on the current Draft Covenant. This particular document, and especially its reach to establish all meaningful authority with the Primates, amounts to a bad expediency based on a false urgency. The very insistence of some that we need to resolve this RIGHT NOW, and need to with THIS DOCUMENT, will tear the fabric of the Communion-As-We-Have-Known-It, fabric that we have long known was delicate.

The evidence for this is before us. One can only surmise, then, that those who push for a rapid resolution (and anything less than three more years is rapid; five would be better) are knowingly willing to tear the fabric of Communion-As-We-Have-Known-It, and so are no more committed to true interdependence with autonomy than those they accuse.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:24pm BST

I've got a few broken records here. I'll put this one on: Lambeth 1:10 is not a law of the Church. Ah, here is another one. There is a longstanding position of the Lambeth Quadrilateral that has gained common consent. There is a more recent brokien record here, and it is that the Covenant with Primates making decisions undeermines synodical government, which is a form of order. Ah there is another broken record. It plays the one about always had different views in the Church and this is what makes Anglicanism what it has been for as long as anyone can recall.

It is a pity when you keep having to play these broken records, I wonder why?

I was taught about broken records. When the teacher is in a position of challenged authority by a pupil, the teacher is to repeat the line given over and over again. This is in order to *avoid* argument, not engage in it, and to assert the authority of the teacher. NP - I know the technique you keep using, and it does not work here. Your repeated broken record points have been rejected and answered over and over again. To keep repeating them is tantamount to a lonely teacher in the corridor talking to him or herself, rather like those washed out teachers who end up seeking time off and recovery.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:37pm BST

>It is as though the are supporters of a team tryng to call foul before the whistle has blown to start the game.... The actual content [of the Covenant] will come back again.< Simon Cawdell

There is no assumption that the old order does not work. The old order is doing what was done over ordaining women. Some are slower, some don't like it. Someone is elevating this "Communion" into something more than it was, but if it is as was then it retains differences as it did.

But what of this game? The game has a set of rules skewed in order to bring back the content after the principle of having some content has been approved. Er - no thanks.

Imagine a football pitch (I'm into this analogy thing, now). It only plays one way. There are two teams, but one team is told, "You only have to let the ball be put through the little goalposts a little way down the pitch. It does not count as a goal" Then, a bit further down the pitch, the goalmouth is a bit bigger. "It is not a goal to let the ball go through there." Further down the pitch there is the actual goal. Then the other team says, with the referee nodding, "You may as well let the ball go in the goal, after all it has gone through all the others."

No, the rules of the game are skewed to a little goal, then another and another, and finally you end up with Churches saying this issue is dividing the Communion, matters for Synods being pushed to the primates, and decisions being made for all to buckle under. Asked how we got to that mess, the answer will be how the ball went through lots of little goals, and the process was deemed to have gone too far.

Best to kick the ball the other way completely.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:53pm BST

Believing two contradictory things at the same time reads foolish, on the face of the phrase. But a deeper look suggests that just such foolishness might be passing, heuristic wisdom in times of great changes - whether in data and/or in paradigms. Each sea change past loudly preached its doomsdays. The sky would fall in if people of faith changed how they thought, how they understood, how they lived, inside church life and inside the wider cultures at hand.

In physics we palpably coexist in our pursuits of various frames and strategies, which hold true within certain limits, according to certain perspective and practices, without necessarily being able to lay claim to being all the possible physics there is or can be. Regular mechanics can happily still pursue Newtonian ways, even though these are hardly the deep, nor the whole entire, that we once believed them to be. Sub-atomic physics happily ... because contradiction signals a puzzle worth pursuing? and an opportunity for further inquiry worth pursuing? ... is still trying to understand the profound influences of observation/observor upon the events/measures. Light has productively been viewed as a wave and as a particle, because, well, light behaves sort of like a wave and sort of like a particle.

If light and subatomic quarks give us pause, towards acknowledging their complex loveliness, and our own fallible efforts to understand - what more shall we need to make of things like human nature and human embodiment?

We are just starting to understand the myriad ways in which culture and history get embodied in brain, muscle, bone tissue. We are researching about sixty different cannabinoid receptors - found surprisingly in the CNS and PNS tissues, plus at the junctures of nerve/muscles, plus - a real hoot - also in the immune systems.

Given this immense flux in what we know and understand, we should hardly be surprised that different starting presuppositions, pursued through different hermeneutic strategies, reliable lead to different ethical and theological outcomes? Scripture in itself bears clear witness to contradictions, and unity-with-variety. To believers painfully and arduously setting aside ancient, hallowed covenant things like circumcision and keeping kosher, in order to be faithful to love of neighbor.

All this used to be rather taken for granted as part of our core Anglican treasure of faith. Now realignment is all about attacking each other.

Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 3:59pm BST

I am very sorry to hear about sensible evangelicals, and Affirming Catholicism going down this road. Interdependence yes - but voluntarily so. That is always the best way of operating. I am reminded of the ridiculous 80s and 90s tinkering to put paishes into 'Team Ministries' where the dynamic is always skewed because the Team Rector is the boss. A 'cluster' model is always better, because people cooperate on a shared endeavour on a voluntary and equal basis.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 4:15pm BST

ps This also looks like ambitious men not wanting to undermine boss Rowan. They must know that there is nothing Anglican is spirit or ethos about any Covenant.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 4:17pm BST

Re Simon Cawdell.
The Covenant is wrong in principle regardless of content. It is un Anglican. The old order has not in fact failed - the problem is that the ABC (for whatever reason) has failed to face down threatening bullies manipulated by rich North American (mainly evangelical) traditionalists. The CofE will refuse to be bullied. I do not believe the Covenant will be passed in the end, and therefore the sooner it is thrown out the better for all. We have all been outwitted by well organised dark forces - and the logic of going down the Covenant route will gradually unchurch one group after another. Starting of course with gay people.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 4:34pm BST

Pluralist - not broken records just the facts having to be repeated given some do not want to hear tham.......

So, yes, I am sorry you do not like it but most of the AC is sick of having a small no of people openly ignoring agreed positions - this is why we have had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique already - but some still do not get it.......and think these facts can also be ignored at will

Posted by NP at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 4:50pm BST

The newspeak is getting pretty deep in here.

The Covenant is supported by "traditionalists" but goes against "traditional Anglicanism."

Scripture in itself bears clear witness to contradictions, but it not clear - or at least not reliable - about human sexuality.

The Spirit is stretching us today by reversing a number of teachings (not just about sexuality) from the 1st C.

Those teachings of the 1st C are not totally reliable, because they are culturally conditioned - and that's bad. But today's new teaching of the Spirit is good precisely because it's culturally conditioned.

Posted by Chris at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 5:02pm BST

Neil - what a conspiracy it all is!!

How did these "dark forces" you see get TEC to do their bidding and cause the crisis we see in the AC?

Posted by NP at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 5:33pm BST

Affirming Catholicism is not going down that road, Neil, at least, not on the basis of this document. Clark happens to be on AC's Synod steering group, and that, so far as I can see, is where any connection ends. Whether the co-authors would like the reader to assume that there is a greater connection - as you have done - is another matter.

ps Have not seen a Göran posting in ages. Still around, I hope.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 9:02pm BST

Drdanfee, good modeling.

Pluralist, I liked the broken record retort and insight that inept teachers rely on repeating mantra because they don't understand the founding principles. This comment is an example "What …the anti convenanters are consistantly failing to do is to provide a clear justification why they are not even willing engage in a process towards a covenant..."

Biblical reasons to block.

Habbakkuk 1:4 "Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted."

Jeremiah 2:7-8 Jer 2:7 "I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me."

Jeremiah 8:8-12 "‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have? …From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious… Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush."

A recent bullying court case cited tactics of removal from voluntary office without notice, grooming the parish to shun the victim "to starve the fire”, undertaking a discrediting campaign against the victim (not just within the parish community, but also in their non-church professional circles). Are souls aware of or, worse, do they approve of such conduct from parishioners or priests? Do they approve of such strategies being taught internationally e.g. last year’s exhortation limit electronic distribution as information had a tendency to get into the "wrong" hands.

We have been fighting souls who will win at any cost. Like the soldiers in the movie A Few Good Men, they have forgotten what they should be protecting.

If Spirit is moving too fast, they have only themselves to blame by making it humanly impossible to bring through the reforms gradually due to their orchestrated sabotaging spanning decades.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 10:50pm BST

Here we go then (I am deliberately avoiding the continuing broken record) with a question:

Affirming Catholicism - would you like to put on your website, as a group, your position on the as proposed so far Covenant for the Anglican Communion?

It is a burning question, the Synod is coming; many, it seems, are against the Covenant at your end of the Church, but your once big figure Rowan Williams is in favour (or something else to do a similar task he said last).

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 10:58pm BST

But Simon, the game has already begun. And one of the teams has proposed that they should get to rewrite the rule book AND appoint the referees.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 11:00pm BST

"...this is why we have had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique already - but some still do not get it.......and think these facts can also be ignored at will..."

NP repeats and repeats and repeats, ad nauseam, his/her mantra.

Those may be, in NP's mind, the equivalent of the Council of Nicaea, but in the mind of most of the provinces of the Anglican Communion, it does not achieve that significance.

Sorry NP. By now you need a new needle for your old record.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 11:13pm BST

NP - There has clearly been a determined alternative agenda from your constituency long before the consecration of Gene Robinson. Even before the last Lambeth. I grant that (on a purely political level) the action of TEC played into your hands. Your lot should have been faced down over the celibate Jeffrey John (though praise God that Gene is not).

Posted by Neil at Monday, 2 July 2007 at 11:56pm BST

Aff Cath Synod members have at least one declared opponent of the Covenant. More will follow I hope. A declaration would help.

We already have ecclesiastical anarchy in the C of E with Resolution C parishes doing their own thing. But I detect a softening of the FiF line in a more Aff Cath direction. The schism in the Catholic wing could be beginning to heal.

This GS 1661 coup d'eglise should be resisted: the solution to anarchy isn't dictatorship, but a continuation of liberal democracy.

Keep the tanks from rolling in, I say.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 12:51am BST

The covenant is all about shutting down any prog-lib theological or faith tendencies, hitherto welcome and alive in worldwide Anglicanism. Every realignment campaigner blog I've read admits and presumes this goal or function, as do many other observers, up to and including some inside or outside Anglican church life.

Everything else is distraction, cover story, and spin doctor packaging. High flying diction about covenant which will clearly permit Akinola and his sort of realignment conservative to lay absolute claims on TEC, or prog-lib believers everywhere around the planet, but which define away and presuppose that the reverse can never happen, ethically or theologically or spiritually, are obviously just more of the same cover story.

Is that a start enough of a hint about the power hungry elephants in the rooms of unavoidable Anglican conservative realignment? I was quite content as a prog-lib believer to live with conservatives, evangelicals, and catholics of whatever colors and hues - each believer working out his or her salvation as we all sought to live the best informed and transformative daily lives of which we understood we were called and were empowered to do; until suddenly we started hearing that these others have first dibs on all the oxygen and parking spaces there are in worldwide Anglican church life, simply because their closed readings of the Bible tell them they are so privileged.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 2:40am BST

Jerry - I repeat these facts of AC history because some people like to pretend that they did not happen....and just because maybe 5% of AC members do not like the decisions that have been made, some want to say they do not have authority.....I repeatedly mention them because they are real and are widely accepted as reasonable responses........just hoping the AC had responded differently to TEC's actions since 2003 will not lead to a better outcome in your eyes, sorry.

Neil - I do not deny that many have for a long time been keen to see the AC return to its scriptures, its prayer book and a sensible, common-sense workable system in which members hold to agreed positions....sure, there has been an effort to get the AC back into a viable state

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 3:35pm BST

As someone who likes prog-rock, I know, I like this new term prog-lib.

No Cheryl, I didn't say that. You wrote: "I liked the broken record retort and insight that inept teachers rely on repeating mantra because they don't understand the founding principles."

No, good teachers faced by pupils being disciplined employ the broken record technique to stop them answeering back. It is anti-argument employed at a particular moment. My point is that it is anti-argument.

However, you then have the shattered teacher, one perhaps who never gained control in the classroom, who ends up in a psychologically dishevelled state in the corridor muttering the same words to him or herself. That is rather different. For them, all the training has ended in the need to go and get some extended rest, or do something different.

My point is if we want debate and argument, playing broken records is to treat the other side like children who need disciplining, and this we ain't.

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 3:41pm BST

"The Covenant is wrong in principle regardless of content. It is un Anglican."

I think you are confusing right and wrong with Anglican and un-Anglican. It is Jesus' will that we be one. There's nothing wrong, in principle, with making mutual commitments in order to enter into a deeper unity.

What is wrong with the current proposals is that they are being designed for use as a cudgel against certain provinces. So, let's not confuse the idea that greater mutual dependance is desirable with the flaws of this specific proposal which will need to be addressed if it has any hope of succeeding.

Posted by ruidh at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 4:00am BST

ruidh says "There's nothing wrong, in principle, with making mutual commitments in order to enter into a deeper unity."

yes - but (being realistic) maybe deeper unity requires that we have to let divisive elements walk apart

certainly the experience of the last few years shows that deeper unity is certainly not possible when people feel free to "tear the fabric of the communion" and the insist that the communion must accept their behaviour without realrepentance on their part

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 9:22am BST

NP,
What exactly is it about the blessing of gay unions in a church on the other side of the pond that upsets you so much? Is it merely about failure to obey some law? Do you fear that a married American gay couple will threaten your redemption? I ask because, as I have said before on many occasions, I do not understand the Evangelical unwillingness to tolerate what they see as errors in others when others have always tolerated what they considered as errors in Evangelicals. Why can you not show to others the tolerance that has been shown to you?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 12:00pm BST

"let divisive elements walk apart"

But you won't, will you NP? You insist that everyone must understand Scripture and the faith the way you do, threaten and scheme and plot to get your way, accuse others of the very sins you yourselves are guilty of, deny that anyone who disagrees with you has any faith at all and certainly doesn't have any respect for Scripture, then call everyone else rebellious because we don't agree with you! No doubt that's more fun, and you get to feel oh so holy, but it really isn't helpful. Of course, it helps that you are convinced that you are right, everyone else is wrong, and anyone who refuses to bend to your will is persecuting you. I find it comical that TEC does not require that anyone else do what they are doing, "your side" insists on conformity to your particular, and I would argue heretical, view, (and you know I'm not talking about SSBs or gay bishops here, so don't even bother!) yet you have the face to accuse TEC of imposing it's will on YOU! You truly have more nerve than a toothache!

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 12:38pm BST

Ruidh - We already have the wherewithal to make the Communion work and mutual dependence has long been around in praying for one another and supporting link Dioceses etc. Long may it deepen and flourish. I believe any kind of Covenant to be wrong in principle - not just the one on the table at the moment. Picture the AC as a family, and then strict mothers/fathers like NP applying the family rules in a way that throws some out because they break the rules - this kind of behaviour would be highly unusual in most families I know. Arguments yes, tiffs, squabbles yes, but you can never NOT be part of a family.

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 3:02pm BST

ps - you make a Covenant with OTHER churches, not internally in your own family

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 3:04pm BST

"Picture the AC as a family, and then strict mothers/fathers like NP applying the family rules in a way that throws some out because they break the rules - this kind of behaviour would be highly unusual in most families I know."

That depends on the rules. If I have a rule in my household that overnight guests are not permitted and my adult child breaks that rule, there will be consequences. Perhaps a loss of the privilege to call the family homestead a home. There's nothing at all unusual with that.

There's nothing wrong with appropriate boundaries. We might legitimately disagree about where they are. But boundaries are essential to personal responsibility. One can not have responsibility unless one knows the limits of the area over which one has responsibility.

np:"yes - but (being realistic) maybe deeper unity requires that we have to let divisive elements walk apart"

Yes, I'm perfectly willing to let Nigeria, Uganda and the other intrusive provinces walk apart until they express regret.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 4:00am BST
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