What Needs To Happen At Lambeth This Week

They need to give the boot to the border crossers (even though I am on their side) and those involved in the same sex blessing and gay ordination debacles and tell them to come back to the sandbox when they have decided they can place nice and play by the rules. It really is that simple. Lambeth simply needs to say “You are no longer in communion with us” and ask that they leave the conference. Yes, that will include a Primate or too. Including my own, but also the one giving the most ecclesiastical cover in North America at present.

Short of that, as Greg Griffith has noted, it is pretty much all over for the Anglican Communion.

What to do with those under the ecclesiastical cover of other Provinces is simple – put them in trust with the American bishops who haven’t been given the boot. Probably those Communion Partner guys. That will also put an end to the litigation. They are in the Episcopal Church – just not with the guys who have been kicked out of the Anglican Communion.

If nothing changes, certain Primates aren’t invited to the Primates Meeting. The Anglican Consultative Council is no big deal, because it is just a charitable trust to support Anglicanism, and has no real authority in the Communion when you read its organizational documents. Yes, it has done things like declared Sees vacant without authority, but it doesn’t mean they actually have that power. The remaining Primates set to work reorganizing Anglicanism, starting with recognition of faithful bishops who play by the rules and asking them to elect a new Primate.

Not that I think the current ABC will do this. But, it is what he ought to do. I think he might be surprised how quickly folks begin to cooperate. He simply has to force it on them, with the help of the bishops at Lambeth who would be willing to go along with this. He could start revoking invitations and credentials today. It is also not for lack of warning, since he told the Bishops they were expected to work with the Windsor and Covenant processes. Plenty of folks are not working with them. Now, I blame all of this on the intransigence of TEC’s liberal leadership, but blame is not the issue.

What has to be done is similar to the Organian treaty imposed upon the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire in Star Trek. The Organians didn’t give the Federation or the Klingons any choice. They just said this is how things are going to be, period. Come to think of it, +Rowan Williams is sort of like an Organian…”we have no one in authority, but I am chairman of the council of elders” and what not.

That’s about all that can be done, at this point, to save the Anglican Communion.

16 Responses to “What Needs To Happen At Lambeth This Week”

  1. 1 Tregonsee July 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Nice to see that the classics are still remembered. However, the the time remaining for +Cantuar to act is measured in hours and days, not even weeks. Unless something substantive comes out of this Lambeth, the GAFCON Communion will act, and in fact will have no choice. TEC surely will not be inactive in removing its trouble makers, and having another decade for the actions to be forgotten. Not my choice of scenario, but the one which is being forced on us. The power vacuum created by +++Hamlet will be filled. Who knows, he may yet surprise us.

  2. 2 Merion Johnson July 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Brad, I can guarantee one thing: those who have left TEC would never return to that organization under any form, fashion, or setup. It is simply beyond all consideration for those of us who have strained to rebuild our church lives to be named Episcopal under any circumstances. And that is true for 99+ percent of the ex-Episcopalian groups.


  3. 3 dl July 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Can’t say as I know the Trek analogy, but I think you are correct. The Communion Partners plan seems to be the only thing on the table for us still in TEC. I’ve thought leading up to Lambeth that GAFCON, the various North American Acronyms and the Communion Partners would need to play nice for the future. Not sure what that will look like. As for the majority of TEC’s Bishops and apparatus, they have few allies beyond these shores, surely they must be shown the door. Heck, by the end of this week they might want to run through it.

  4. 4 Timothy Fountain July 29, 2008 at 1:15 am

    The main problem I see with the “inside strategy” is that Communion Partner Bishops will retire (in fact, the canons mandate their retirement). Then, the whole “unique polity of TEC” scam kicks in.

    Meanwhile, ordinations, deployment and all sorts of other vital functions are controlled by the subsidized apostates in NYC offices.

    There are just too many details that Canterbury can’t manage.

  5. 5 Douglas Bonneville July 29, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Are you sure you mean this?

    “They need to give the boot to the border crossers”…

    Is John modelling emergency border crossing in the following passage on account of the people who were on the receiving end of oppression? And here, the issue was simply one person’s arrogance, nevermind an entire institution gone teaching heresy and promoting as holy as sinful lifestyle. But is John crossing a boundary to “deal” with another church leader?:

    “I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing in spreading false charges against us. And not content with those charges, he refuses to welcome the friends, and even prevents those who want to do so and expels them from the church.” (3John 1:9-11 NRSV)

    Has John gone outside his jurisdiction? Is this justifiable for a bishop or other body to do today? Curious to know your thoughts.

  6. 6 Mad Potter July 29, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Brad, I am really trying to make sense of your plan. But I am not having much success. The GAFCON guys are off on their own trajectory starting a new GS communion demanding that everyone use their BCP and letting them decide who is kosher ….The progressive provinces will not agree so they are still Canterbury Anglican Communion…The conservative bishops like ours are in a bind, still in TEC, but perhaps the Communion Partners plan will do some good on that front.

    The folks that have left TEC are gone. They have asked the GAFCON primates to create a new North American GAFCON province for them. That sounds like a new church to me.

    I see a lot of confusion. The orthodox are running in several directions and that can not be good for the cause. If you guys actually knew what you wanted, it would be easier to get what you want.

  7. 7 Timothy Fountain July 29, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Mad Potter: No LGBT bishops, No SSUs, and a return to the “safe holding place” known as the BCP for theology and practice. “What us folks want” has been stated with considerable clarity and volume, and the response has been clear and loud as well. LGBT entitlement, and the reduction of Christianity to just one symbol system among many.

    No surprise that there is chaotic flight from a chaotic denomination. The doors and windows of TEC are by Escher these days.

  8. 8 Mad Potter July 29, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Timothy, In fact, as a whole, you guys don’t know what you want. I suspect that is because you are not the least bit in agreement once the dislike of the progressive provinces is put aside.

  9. 9 Timothy Fountain July 29, 2008 at 2:14 am

    We were not leaving until the LGBT/liturgical unitarians gained centralized and programmatic control of the denomination. All kinds of people coexisted in ECUSA, with all kinds of significant distinctives and differences.

    There is no one “what we want” and I’m too tired to dig up the Latin logical fallacy of your argument. The fact is, Episcopalians always were an array of Anglicans held together by the core statement of Christian essentials in the BCP – even with (and maybe because of) its room for a variety of Christian non-essentials.

    The people running the denomination now do not fit even a very broad definition of “Christian essentials.” They have imposed an ideology that excludes most people who would have been contained quite nicely within a BCP based denomination.

    Again, it is crazy. Don’t expect the streams of refugees to march in parade step.

  10. 10 One Small Voice July 29, 2008 at 2:15 am

    What we want is an Anglican Orthodox Province recogninzed by the majority of the Primates and free from TEC.

  11. 11 Mad Potter July 29, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Timothy, you got to remember that I am a potter…Art school….I have no idea what “Latin logical fallacy” is. I do know that the conservatives don’t agree on what they want, and that is a problem we progressives don’t have.

  12. 12 R. Scott Purdy July 29, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Interesting question Brad – what would it take for me to return to TE”c”? What would make TE”c” TEC?

    I can envision scenarios where I would return. I can also envision scenarios (including but not limited to abandonment of the doctrine of immaculate conception) where I would become RC-Anglican Rite. The latter are improbable, but far more likely than the former.

    Brad, as one BK guy to another, your Plan of Reorganization has merits – but needs added robustness, and measures of accountability. Your approach of “a pox on all your houses” prompts images worthy of a giggle. [Interesting application of an absolute version of the Absolute Priority Rule.] Yet your Plan is short on remediation of the left hand side of the balance sheet – operations remain a mess. [Enough of the inside trade humor.]

    Let’s start here:

    1) There would have to be swift and meaningful discipline – including inhibition from teaching, celebrating or performing any clerical role – for all clergy who publicly proclaim other than:
    – the incarnation;
    – the virgin birth;
    – the death, bodily resurrection and ascension;
    – that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone;
    – the fallenness of humanity;
    – the inability to bless that which Holy Scripture counts a sin.
    (Particular attention should be exercised in regard to extending this discipline to those teaching in seminaries.)
    2) There would have to be swift and meaningful discipline – including inhibition from teaching, celebrating or performing any clerical role – for all clergy who engaged in sexual activity outside of Holy Matrimony.
    3) That discipline would be applied to the distribution of the sacrament of the Eucharist to the unbaptized or notorious unrepentant sinners. That clergy who knowingly abused the sacrament in this way would be subject to discipline.
    4) That there were meaningful protections for clergy and parishes unable to endorse WO.
    5) Abandonment of institutional advocacy for the murder of the unborn.

    Without demonstrated commitment of the denomination to repentance in these areas, I could not imagine a return to TE”c”.

    I have no doubt the list above is incomplete. I would welcome thoughts on necessary enhancements.

    R. Scott Purdy

  13. 13 descant July 29, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Here is my list I posted to the HOBD Listserv on what’s wrong:

    Our church has explicitly taken a pro-abortion rights stand, with a prominent theologian in our church (Carter Hayward) stating that if women were in charge of the church abortion would be a sacrament and TEC’s membership in the religious coalition for reproductive choice. *******, you have frequently noted that the departure from our previous nuanced position on abortion has caused great pain within the church, so I think you would know where I am coming from here.

    Our church has dealt most harshly with members of Forward in Faith and has not created space for them in the church but has rather tried to isolate them and force them out. This does not bode well for those of us who don’t have a problem with women’s ordination but who are conservatives looking down the road at our future in the church. This is largely the cause of the border crossings, in my opinion. Conservatives see their future in the church. It ain’t pretty.

    Our church seems almost reticent to evangelize folks for fear of offending their particular religious beliefs. It almost seems to approach defiance to Jesus’ words asking us to make disciples of all people.

    These, and the issues ******** mentioned regarding Christology, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, abandonment of the Creeds, and process theology (not just biblical interpretation) that has no right and wrong (which is what C.S. Lewis was battling in his writings). For example, the dialogue with the Bishop in the Great Divorce pretty much explains what the problem is in this area.

    Many of us also object to TEC’s pro-Palestinian and anti-Isreali positions.

    I also personally object to the attitude many take in the church of superiority to other Christians.

  14. 14 descant July 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Mad Potter:

    I think we know what we want. Scott and I have pretty well spelled it out, don’t you think?

  15. 15 Michael July 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Organian Treaty???? Brad, you are such a geek….and that’s why I like you so much.

    Live Long and Prosper.

  16. 16 Bob Maxwell+ July 29, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks, R Scott Purdy.

    Your list defines the boundaries of a path that could lead to TEc becoming a Church once again and not the present fellowship of the unlike minded. It is what I once worked for and had hoped to see.

    The trains have left the station.

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