June 25th, 2010 Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Marriage, Poverty, TEC |

Canon Chris SugdenBy Chris Sugden, Evangelicals Now

Anglicans on both sides of the homosexuality debate have concluded that the crisis is now behind us. The key decisions have been made both by TEC and orthodox Anglicans in the Global Communion. TEC has clearly walked apart. The leader of the LGCM in the UK said that a schism should be now recognised.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent a Pentecost letter to the churches addressing the situation. His minimalist response is little more than wordplay.

He uses the term diversity to describe a range of views on a number of matters, as though they were all examples of a positive diversity to be embraced: diversity of tongues and languages in which the gospel is proclaimed, diversity of gifting and service, human diversity, societies are diverse, diverse peoples of the world, diversity of views on infant baptism, a coherent Anglican identity does not mean one with no diversity, which of course includes a diversity of views and practice on sexuality.

The Archbishop frames the current disputes as diversity, which become divisions because of misunderstandings and failures of communication. He thus reinterprets clear disobedience by TEC to the will of God as set forth in Scripture and recognised by the Church and reduces it to mis-communicated diversity.

The problem as he diagnoses it, is that some provinces, not only TEC, have formally adopted policies that breach the moratoria on same-sex consecrations and on crossing provincial boundaries to address this. All such provinces therefore will have their representatives on ecumenical dialogues reduced to consultant status. To go by what happened at the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham in 2005 when TEC representatives were present only as observers, this will mean no difference whatsoever: another play on words.

What is needed is better communication through “encounters that take place in a completely different atmosphere from the official meetings of the Communion’s representative bodies” – in other words in backrooms where there is no correct procedure to appeal to but all decisions are left solely in the hands of the powerful.

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