Troubles in Little Anglicanism

I have been drawn to the Episcopal church for a variety of reasons, but its inherent calm, ecumenical spirit, and tempered reasonableness have been among those reasons. Its heart for an inclusive gospel that sees us all as children of God has been another.

I am about two months away from being confirmed in The Episcopal Church.

Today at the global gathering of the Primates (Bishops) of the global Anglican Communion, the bishops did two horrifying things.

First, they voted overwhelmingly (by a two-thirds majority) to reaffirm and uphold the exclusionary tradition of exclusive heterosexual marriage as “between one man and one woman.”

Second, they voted to punish The Episcopal Church for changing its church laws on marriage to include marriage equality by suspending them from membership in the global Anglican Communion for three years. Basically, this means that TEC is now only an “observer” in the communion, not a full participant. They cannot vote on doctrinal or polity matters, nor represent the AC in ecumenical or interfaith discussions. Further, a Task Force will be appointed to “rebuild trust and healing” from the hurt that apparently refusing to discriminate against God’s LGBTQ children has caused the bristly global Bishops.

This whole process is a circus show and it is insulting, not to mention a shameless power-grab by the hierarchy of the church, which conservatives have been fighting to reclaim for at least 40 years. A lot of people don’t know this, but in the Episcopal Church there are two voting bodies, one of which represents the Bishops and the other represents the laity. No doctrinal decisions can be made without both of these houses agreeing with one another (similar to the House of Lords and House of Commons in the British Parliament). In the TEC, both of these bodies agreed to change the Canon on marriage to support marriage equality. By suspending the TEC, the AC is trying to discipline the TEC for a decision that was the will not just of the Bishops but of the people. It is an attempt by the hierarchy to claim power over this democratic process.

But this will also not change the TEC’s mind on the matter of same-sex marriage. We will not be threatened, we will not be bullied, and we will not be broken. We will cling to the gospel, which demands all people be welcome and proclaims liberation to those laboring under abusive tradition for centuries. As Jim Naughton, former canon of the Archdiocese of Washington, said:

“We can accept these actions with grace and humility but the Episcopal Church is not going back,” Naughton said. “We can’t repent what is not sin.”

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2 thoughts on “Troubles in Little Anglicanism

  1. Thanks for this article Adam. I’d heard about the action but didn’t know the specifics you’ve explained. I am a part-time blogger and writer on Christian and religious/spiritual matters so follow general trends but usually don’t dig into specifics.

    I’d actually been looking for your contact info from discovering your Kindle books on Amazon (where I have one myself). I note that we have very similar interests and somewhat overlapping experiences. However, I’m now 66 and you seem to be close to 4 decades younger. But that only makes your writing/insight/knowledge the more impressive (assuming you are around late mid-to-late 20s). Anyway, I’m currently posting a series on my blog that I think you’d find of interest. It reflects my many decades of broad interdisciplinary study, as that is focused on early Christianity and the effect of it on the major paradigms of Western culture. These I summarize or “boil down” (a bit simplistically, granted) to “naturalism” vs. “supernaturalism”… and I’m pointing toward (as other of my many posts discuss) the little-used “Third” paradigm of Process thought (theology/philosophy).

    I’d expect you’re at least somewhat familiar with it. My own fairly-informed belief is that creating the vision and living out of a “Progressive Christian” vision (as in your Kindle ebook which I intend to get/read sometime soon) necessarily involves some form of “mediating” or less polarized (reductionist) worldview (major paradigm). In my “outline” this would mean the particular panentheism of Process. But my main point is not to just sell “Process”. Rather, to enable intellectually integrous, emotionally invigorated and socially engaging forms of spiritual practice (as in church communities, in our case Jesus-following ones, though Process can be well applied elsewhere also). I’m hoping we can connect and perhaps join forces in some way or other. BTW, I’ve also created a “Progressive Christian Vision” a few years ago, which I think is on my blog, and is 7 or 8 points… maybe 1500-2000 words or so… been a while since I’ve reviewed it.

  2. P.S. I remembered something else I meant to add: that your name sounds familiar. If you’ve already been on my blog or we’ve interacted on some other one, please forgive my poor memory re. it.

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