Interesting Developments in Nottingham; Fundamental Differences Between Both Sides; We Need Jesus, Not a Rationalization

ENS and other sources are now reporting that the Primates have now been added to membership of the Anglican Consultative Council. I think that means the ACC won’t do anything inconsistent with the Dromantine Communique, ultimately. I think this represents a shift of power.

As I reflect on what is happening in the Anglican Communion today, and on my recent Kairos experience, I think the theological differences between conservatives and liberals in our church can be boiled down to one small point. Some folks love Jesus (or at least the idea of Him), while others love Him and need Him like a drowning person gasping for breath needs air. I am one of the latter. Those that need Jesus in that way are willing to submit to rules on sexuality that may seem arbitrary to society, and don’t feel the need to push the theological envelope but rather struggle daily to merely confirm to the basic tenants of the faith, seeking to live in God’s grace and forgiveness for their sins are ever before them until washed away by the blood – through confession and repentance. They (and I) need Jesus, and not a rationalization.

The former group have a utopian vision for a new world – where all are accepted, all are loved – a vision of the Kingdom of God on earth. Those that need Jesus quest for this world too. The difference then boils down to acknowledging brokeness and the need for repentance. That’s it, plain and simple, best I can tell.

One of the team members at a Kairos I attended told a story of his recovery from crack addiction. Part of his turning away from crack and toward Jesus Christ was tithing from a $30 per week salary while in rehab – $3.00. I first thought, boy, that is following the jots and tiddles of the Bible. I’ve read the debate on whether the biblical tithe even applies to Christians. But, there is a certain point of the most broken seeking healing from Jesus Christ by confession and submission, rather than rationalization of behavior. This man needed Jesus, not a rationalization. He found Him, has now been clean for ten years, and is a Christian minister.

It seems to me that our brothers and sisters in the Global South are folks that need Jesus – they face Islamic oppression, poverty, disease, and a variety of other problems depending on where they are. Much has been made on the HOBD list and elsewhere about the rationale of rejecting ECUSA money, when the needs are so great. They need Jesus more than they need the money. It is very simple to me. They need Jesus like they need the air they breathe. Money is a secondary concern. In short, they give primacy to the spiritual aspects of life over the physical. Boy, that sure sounds like what Christianity is about. They need Jesus, not a rationalization.

I’ve read and re-read the ECUSA presentations, both written and verbal. I think what we have is a rationalization for two things: 1.) What ECUSA did and 2.) Why the Anglican Communion should stay together. Much ado has been made about the dropping numbers in ECUSA of late – average Sunday attendance, membership, and so forth. Many rationalizations have been offered as to why.

What we need is Jesus, not a rationalization, in the Episcopal Church.

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