Friday, 17 September 2004

The Archbishop and the Network

on 28 June I posted here an article with this title, written by Mark Harris a Delaware priest. (Subsequently the original article was also published here.)

Mark Harris has today published a new article in which he takes note of new information received. The new article can be read here.

The new information itself appeared on titusonenine on 5 September and can be read in its original form here together with numerous comments about it, and referring back to the original piece.

You can read a further critique of the new article by Mark Harris from a conservative viewpoint here.

Update later comments from titusonenine can be read here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 17 September 2004 at 5:26 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

In light of new (purportedly true) revelations about the ABC, and his nutty interference (*) in our Church, I’m beginning to think, more and more, that the “Anglican Communion” is neither truly Anglican, nor a Communion. [Call it, instead, the “Blighty-phile Homo-Crucifying League” or some such]. Who needs it?

Thank God that Anglicanism, however, will be preserved (will succeed, apostolically) in ECUSA, the Anglican Church of Canada, and among those true, historic Anglicans, worldwide, with ears to hear (and Body/Blood of Our Lord to share)!

(*)Re “Confessing”: Duncan and Anderson = Bonhoeffer and Niemoller? Not Hardly!

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher at September 18, 2004 05:39 AM

Fr. Harris ends his correction with “…we must deal with the very real possibility that the Archbishop of Canterbury has indeed taken a part in determining the course of matters internal to this Province and its decision making processes, in which he has no more standing than that of a “foreign bishop,” save the respect due him and his office. That respect remains high, for it is not an office to be wished on any, but one from which we expect much. Still, there needs to be some care in mucking about in other people’s gardens, for the respect due is not without its limits.”

I am afraid that I do not share his ecclesiology— the idea that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s involvement in an issue of such gravity to the entire Communion counts as “mucking about in other people’s gardens” is ludicrous. To continue his metaphor, the Episcopal Church isn’t some separate ‘garden’, walled off from all the rest but members of the same little garden club— ECUSA is the part of the garden that happens to be planted in the USA. It’s just one garden, whether in Hampshire or New Hampshire, Louisiana or Lesotho; we’re just one Body, in Christ Jesus.

God did not draw the national boundaries between the US and Canada or Mexico— they are a human construct, visible evidence of our sinful divisiveness as human beings. This implications of this attempt to force human political divisions onto the Body of Christ would be bizarre if they weren’t so sad.

Think about what we’re saying about Christ’s Body, if we take as a given Fr. Harris’ saying that the Robinson consecration/same-sex blessing votes at GC-03 are “matters internal to this Province”. We are saying that we are members of an international Communion, one where actions which are not merely tolerated but officially blessed in one place are condemned as sins against God in another. We are saying that the relationships of same sex couples should be blessed in Miami but confessed in the Bahamas, because they’re in a different Province.

Fr. Harris’ defense of ECUSA’s provincial autonomy, taken to its logical end, seems to point to some frightening conclusions: we believe that sin can be legitimately defined and redefined by the vote of a national General Convention… and that whether a particular action is sinful may be voted on differently in other provinces of the Church.

A question, then— Take a gay couple, both Episcopalians, whose relationship was blessed by a priest in, say, Newark, that gets on an plane and flies to the Bahamas for vacation. At what point do their sexual activities become sinful in the eyes of God? When their plane crosses the 12-mile border leaving the USA? Or the 12-mile Bahamian boundary? Or is it not until they clear Customs at the Nassau airport?

Enough. There is one Body and one Spirit… and “provincial autonomy” on matters of the Faith of the Church is an absolute violation of what it means to be the Body of Christ.

Posted by: Concerned at September 18, 2004 07:21 AM

Yawn. Why is this news? The network has said since the beginning that it’s had the full faith and support of the ABC. No one was keeping secrets. Is it news just because the reassessors have just figured out that it’s true? Or is it just that the Epicopal Cult of Universalist Situational Affirmation is beginning to be afraid that after trampling Holy Writ, Holy Tradition, and the rest of the Body of Christ, there might actually be real consequenses?

I fully agree with you, Concerned. If Mr. Harris et. al. don’t want folks “mucking” in their garden, they should make their own garden, and not try and steal a piece of earth from the One Holy and Apostolic Church.

Posted by: MJD_NV at September 19, 2004 03:42 PM

“They’re redefining sin! They’re rewriting the Bible!”

Friends, Christians have always, always done this. There are simply redefinitions you agree with and those you don’t. There are rewrites (i.e. reinterpretations) you agree with, and those you don’t. (“inspired” vs. “captive to culture”)

Why must we posit some “unchanging, from God’s-mouth-to-the-Church’s-ear” past which has never existed?

Simon, these comment threads are rapidly turning into “So’s your old man!” “Neener-neener-neener” diatribe-fests. Everyone’s talking at, no one’s listening to each other [People are saying things which they would never say to me in-person, as I exited the church door after Sunday Eucharist. As am I. :-( ]

I enjoy venting here, but—-perhaps because of that joy—-I fear it’s really time to turn it (the comment threads) off, for awhile anyway.

Maybe we all need to go meditate on the Christ who “opened not his mouth” (or his keyboard!)?

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher at September 19, 2004 10:06 PM

A simple question: I wonder, why is separation and division now a part of the Anglican communion? Is division and isolation going to spread god’s word?

The bible teaches us several very basic lessons. There are basic simplicities in life: they are manifest in the spirituality of the self and communion with others.

So get with it already.

Why are the simple points lost in politics; that is what seems to be the sticky points in ths debate. In the end, who’s ever garden I dig in is my own and gods.

Posted by: Dr. Harris, PhD at September 21, 2004 11:01 PM
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