A matter of trust –

Jim Naughton, over at the Diocese of Washington “news” blog, must be a Billy Joel fan. At least that was my first response after reading his latest piece on Tanzania

Word comes from Tanzania that Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA, Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream and Father David Anderson of the American Anglican Council are already in Dar es Salaam. I wonder if they are aware that their presence in Tanzania, like their presence in Northern Ireland, convey to the rest of the world that they don’t trust Peter Akinola, Bernard Malango, Gregory Venables et. al. to manage on thier own?

Billy Joel was ringing in my ears. It’s always been a matter of trust, you see.

Some love is just a lie of the heart,
The cold remains of what began with a passionate start.
And they may not want it to end,
But it will, it’s just a question of when.

Breakups begin with a loss of trust. But the really telling moment is when that trust is transferred to someone else. So, when an adulterous spouse abandons someone and the stranded partner finally turns to someone else who will be faithful where the previous partner wasn’t; well, it’s a clear sign that there is trust where there wasn’t previously.

So it’s not at all the case here that Minns, Sugden and Anderson don’t trust the Global South Primates. Quite the contrary – it’s abundantly clear now that Akinola, Malango, Venables et al. don’t trust Schori and her people and would rather set up show with someone they do trust and who they know isn’ t running after another love (Jeremiah 3:6). Billy loves his girl and wants her to trust him, but the Global South don’t trust TEC any more.

Naughton then goes on to quote Lionel Deimel’s “bracing observation”,

It is cold comfort that neither the traditions of the Anglican Communion nor the constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) nor the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church will allow the creation of the sort of independent ecclesiastical entity sought by Bishop Duncan in the latest plea for APO. (Composition of the ACC, which, arguably, either reflects or defines the membership of the Anglican Communion itself, can only be changed by a vote of two-thirds of the primates. No one believes that the votes are available to make such a change at next weekâ™s meeting.) The Anglican Communion has ceased to act as a fellowship, however, and increasingly acts through intimidation, if not outright coercion. It is therefore foolhardy for The Episcopal Church to rely on what the Communion âœcannotâ do to guarantee its integrity and independence.

I wonder if Deimel is confused? He says “the traditions of the Anglican Communion nor the constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) nor the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church will allow the creation of the sort of independent ecclesiastical entity sought by Bishop Duncan in the latest plea for APO” and then he outlines exactly how such structures can recognise such an alternate Province. And the votes may even be there. But more than that, it’s not about votes. Ultimately ++Canterbury simply sends out (or doesn’ t send out) invites.

Better than that, he thinks that the canons of TEC have something to do with it. That’s a laughable argument. Imagine all 3 branches of the the United States Federal government agreeing to kick out one of the States. What if that State (and for fun pick your own – having spent a year at Univerity of Illinois I’m going for Michigan – YMMV) said “but our constitution and laws won’t let you do that!” It wouldn’t make the blindest bit of difference. But that’s the situation we have here. 3 of the 4 Instruments of Unity (the 4th being the Lambeth Conference who have not met since the current crisis began) have made it abundantly clear that TEC is in the wrong and yet, apparently, the canons of TEC render such a unanimous declaration of disapproval irrelevant. I don’ t think so. Frankly, TEC really don’ t want to wait until Lambeth 2008 because the response their could make what has occurred so far look positively understated.

Is this coercion, as Deimel claims? No, on the contrary – it’s Catholicity. The word “catholic” comes from the greek “kata” and “holos”, literally “according to the whole”. The whole, in terms of the Anglican Communion, have been phenomenally in the current crisis. Catholicity has been established and TEC’s actions and statements consistently fall outside those defined boundaries. That is why the Windsor Report and the Primates use the language of “walking apart”. Perhaps they should just have said “walking away”.

Now, if you want to know what coercion looks like, then take lessons from Bonnie…

We have been tolerant of Bishop Iker….

in other words,

That’s a nice diocese you’ve got there, Iker. Be a shame if anything happened to it…

or perhaps the almost daily filing of lawsuits in Virginia?

Of course, all of this is in order to defend the cherished “independence”. Just think about that for a minute. The New Testament is chocka full of reminders of the co-dependency of Christians. We submit to one another (Eph. 5:21) and we imitate God (Eph. 5:1) in Christ, giving Himself up for us (Eph. 5:2). It is no wonder that when a group want to give up the imitation and worship of God and, rather, imitate and worship other things (Rom. 1:21-32) that they would strive for independence. When you’re independent you don’t have to walk with anyone else, there’s no need for them.

Billy is clearly in denial

Some love is just a lie of the heart.
The cold remains of what began with a passionate start.
But that can’t happen to us…..
Because it’s always been a matter of trust.

He mistakenly thinks that things are going to work out, if only his girl would just trust him again. He’s hopelessly wrong. He’s not the only one.

View this post at the WhiteHorseInn

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