Friday, June 15, 2007

Real Anglicans

At the end of a particularly fractious week for the Communion, my friend and theologian, Christopher, puts it magnificently:

This attitude and type of talk sets the stage for perpetual enmity amidst our splits and splinters and divisions and brokenness. And not only from this century. We’re in full communion with ELCA Lutherans, but we have not yet crossed the divide with flesh of our own flesh—the Methodists. As we face the rocky waters of the present moment, a spirit of charity, a willingness to recognize the other as valuable and important even if we steadfastly and standfastly disagree, even if we face formal divisions, would go a long way toward leaving open the possibility that we can find space in our hearts for one another, the only space—that catholic space, by which divisions can be mended and healed, even if it takes a century or two or more. Some have spoken as if “don’t let the door hit you in the ass” or “we’ll leave the light on for you”, understandings of our comprehensiveness and that suggest the other is somehow “not of us” or that we’ve maintained the faith and they haven’t. But when it comes to Anglicans with our love of comprehensiveness for the sake of truth and all the mess that leads to, I would have hoped for better from all of us, myself included. The truth is, we’re all incomplete and will be so without the other, and that is a truth betwixt and between that we must live with “this side of the New Creation”. Whether that means we are formally in communion or not, a catholic heart is required, and that, it would seem to me, has been the distinctive hope of Anglican comprehensiveness. That by Christ in the Spirit, we are joined to one another even if formally we’re divided, which may in fact be necessary to reach all peoples and the ends of the earth with the Good News. Nevertheless, wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ Name, there, someone is telling the power of the Good News, and whether they are in communion with Canterbury or not, some amount of fraternal/sororal kindness and respect is in order: "Suspense of judgment and exercise of charity were safer and seemlier for Christian men than the hot pursuit of these controversies." (Richard Hooker)

Read all of it.


Padre Mickey said...

We've dealt with this at The True, Really, I Mean It Church™ by jumping on the Band Wagon

R said...

Yes, indeed, and I AM IN AWE!

June Butler said...

I'm pleased to see this from Christopher. Sometimes I have to stop reading the blogs, because the exchanges get too hot for me, and I can't bear to read the comments, even from those I agree with.

We are all Christians, brothers and sisters, and a general lowering of the volume and a reduction of barbs hurled back and forth is to be desired.

I am not blameless in this type of behavior myself, and Christopher's reminder is timely for all of us.