Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Ignorant armies clashing by night or threshold of opportunity?

As Rowan lands in New Orleans, ludicrous disaster movies about apocalyptic schism fill the media and potty right wing websites. They've pretty much written the story already, whatever happens. This, at any rate, saves air fares and environmental damage. Chicken Little stories about the Anglican Communion are a wake-up call, that indicate what this really is — God's way of providing Cast Iron Gold Plated opportunities...

  1. To recognise What real Unity is and where it comes from — impossibles bound together by transcendent love — strong as death — not from our process but the Cross — not by politics but as gift by grace. Student Politics, Great White Chief stuff, Post-Colonial turf wars and Imperialism can offer appealing quick fixes, but they are ludicrously poor substitutes for the real thing.
    Read Colossians 1:20...

  2. To listen carefully and to allow generous imagination to birth extravagant forbearance — including listening to the real Bible, not just our pet notions, left wing or right wing, about the Bible. Neither extreme side can change the other without being willing to follow the logic of the incarnation, by stepping into their shoes and thinking different.
    Read James 1:19...

  3. To be the rubber that hits the road for the rest of the Christian Community — Exactly the tension and ambiguity surfacing among Anglicans can be found wherever development and globalization happen in the world; er... everywhere. More authoritarian or imperialistic denominations may be better at covering it up. One of the wisest spiritual teachers in the world, Sister Joan Chittister OSB, makes this point in this week's National Catholic Reporter:
    “The issue is in the air we breathe. The Anglicans simply got there earlier than most. And so they may well become a model to the rest of us of how to handle such questions. If the rate and kinds of social, biological, scientific and global change continue at the present pace, every religious group may well find itself at the breakpoint between "tradition" and "science" sooner rather than later.”
    Lying and pretending won't magic the problem away; so why not just get on and work it out up front, not through lying and pretence?
    Read Ephesians 4:25...


  4. To enact Grace and Mercy, by consciously renouncing factionalism and shallowness. The world has quite enough Walkouts, Boycotts, and Factional Custard Pie Fights already, thank you very much. Why not let's think different? The Cross teaches that niceness is not enough. Every life, every predicament, right or left wing, requires redemption, more or less obviously. Truth > Justice > Reconciliation. Political fallings out and stitch-ups don't come anywhere near it.
    Read I Corinthians 3:3...

Finally, NT Christians needed constant forcible reminders about this stuff. The Scriptures were written for our learning. We are no better than them. Being an Anglican is getting to feel very much like it must have felt in the Early Church. So what? Learning how to be real is tough but necessary discipline for any follower of Christ in Community, any family. It's no big deal.

So, friends, are we up for tackling the real issue, in us, among us, within us, in Christ, or do we just play out those silly “Godzilla versus the beast” scripts?

1 comment:

fatherjones.com said...

Bishop, such a terrific post. I do so wish that the conversation we are having here in the States could me done in the proper language. So much of the conversation we get here -- in the Church -- is a language of feelings-rights-politics-talk or the falsely applied Christian language of 'spiritual warfare.' The first is meaningless language in the Kingdom, and the second presumes that one side of the debate is on God's side and the other on the side of Satan.

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