Some of my thoughts on the current problems within the Anglican Communion in no particular order. This may be updated...
Some bishops (and other clergy types) complain that TEC has shattered the communion because of following Jesus's commandment to love all. Those men, primarily, believe that loving, not judging and allowing LGBT people to answer Godde's call to ministry is so sinful that they cannot share the table or even be part of an organization with TEC. In My Not So Humble Opinion, TEC has done nothing to split the communion. TEC has continued to support foreign missions, participate in conferences and live into the love of Godde in Christ while tolerating as long as possible the bishops who vilify others, steal property, lie, refuse to consider there are valid opinions on scripture other than their own and show no signs of being followers of Jesus. The men who complain and withdraw are the ones harming the communion.
People who cling to the belief that LGBTs are not deserving of the same rights and privileges as the people in their circle do not understand the message of the Bible at all. In other words, they believe the hated/feared behavior of LGBTs - doing whatever straight people do - is so sinful that Godde cannot possibly love LGBTs. IMNSHO these prejudiced folks have created God in their own image. I want nothing to do with their God.
In the Bible, Satan gave Jesus the opportunity to be the ruler over all he could see. He declined. Sad that so many bishops and other clergy haven't taken that example to heart. I've always believed that the person who wants power is probably the worst person to give it to. Was it Plato who agreed?
There is a section of the most recent version of the "Covenant" which many are using to pound TEC into submission:
3.2.5: to act with diligence, care and caution in respect of any action which may provoke controversy, which by its intensity, substance or extent could threaten the unity of the communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.
IMNSHO Nigeria and Uganda, among others, should be censored for their inhumane, unChristlike actions and rhetoric against LGBTs which can inspire violence. If anyone is breaking the communion it is these men who have very strange opinions of the message of the Bible. Why are their minions in the US not complaining about that evil? Does their silence mean they approve? Jesus would eat with them but what would he say? There is no credibility to either the parent provinces or their stepchildren.
3.2.6: in situations of conflict, to participate in mediated conversations, which involve face to face meetings, agreed parameters and a willingness to see such processes through.
This needs to apply to all. There is no excuse for Akinola or Orombi or Anis or anyone else to refuse to have an intelligent conversation with an LGBT person. Colin Coward writes that any attempt to discuss with "reporters" is met with a barrage of verbage. I believe that any concession to listen to the real LGBT experience is perceived as a threat to the prejudiced. If a crack appears in their wall against LGBTs, it might spread causing the entire house of cards to tumble. Then all they have said and written against LGBTs must be refuted. The embarrassment is too difficult to imagine.
3.2.7: to have in mind that our bonds of affection and the love of Christ compel us always to uphold the highest degree of communion possible. To put it bluntly, heifer dust. There is no love of Christ among the legalists who can't conceive of the idea that Godde loves homosexuals. TEC tries to maintain bonds of affection but those who know God best keep breaking them.
Those who judge others unfit for whatever, especially responding to Godde's call to ministry, have put themselves above Godde. They may be sincere in their beliefs but they need to examine the beliefs they cling to tightly in the light of what Jesus taught. Just as the rich man could follow all the rules but not surrender all his wealth, the self-righteous can believe they are following the rules but cannot surrender the prejudice that separates them from others.
I'm not a Bible scholar but I believe there is something about an emmisary - the Holy Spirit - who will teach us what we are not yet prepared to learn. It seems to me that the Bible literalists who cherish the verses which, in their opinion, condemn homosexual relationships and which restrict the priesthood to people with penises refuse to hear the Holy Spirit. Could it be because traditionally the Holy Spirit has been considered feminine and women have nothing of value to add to the discussion? Or are those men simply denying the Trinity by believing that the Holy Spirit died with the council of Nicea?
It has been recommended that TEC withhold funding from the AC until the future of the AC is determined. The current movement seems to be toward the Roman model with a magisterium that dictates belief and has means of determining who is in and who is out. That is not the Anglican way. I have mixed feelings about withholding money but I would encourage using those funds to provide desperately needed support for our missionaries who barely survive on the pittance TEC now provides. The withheld resources could also be used to defend property rights when challenged by men who would impose their beliefs on TEC and remove the property illegally when TEC doesn't agree.
I don't much care for organized religion. I like our parish somewhat tho I came very close to leaving last summer because of what I perceived as an unhealthy environment. I perceive the environment preached by the schismatic priests and bishops in the AC to be extremely unhealthy, especially for people. That is all too true in many churches that preach about Jesus yet forget about loving all. Kinda dumb, eh?
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