Anglican Angst


Anglican Angst

The remaining Anglican (Episcopalian, for us Americans) bishops are holding the Lambeth Conference this year. As you are probably aware, there has been a serious split within the Anglican communion over such questions as the ordination of women, gays, and whatever. Liberal bishops have taken over the denomination over the last 10 years or so. As Jordan Hylden writes on the First Things blog, the difficulty lies, essentially, with these liberals' firm dedication to the idea of licentiousness:

Unfortunately, there are several factors in play that will make the Lambeth bishops' task very difficult. Most fundamentally, the bishops will have to confront a theology, held by many of their own members, which places little value on doctrinal unity and scriptural authority and instead exalts near-unbounded freedom and diversity in matters of faith and ethics. Liberal Anglican modernists, many of them from North America, believe that doctrinal latitude is central to what it means to be Anglican. They argue that the 2003 consecration to the episcopate of Gene Robinson, an actively gay man, was fully in keeping with Anglican tradition, even though the 1998 Lambeth conference had held homosexual practice to be incompatible with scriptural norms. Several American and Canadian bishops continue to publicly bless same-sex unions, in defiance of the repeated requests of the international organs of Anglicanism and the canons of their own churches.

It seems an impossible task to bring full, Christian communion back to the Anglican church, and this is both sad and trying for those who remain members. As Mr. Hylden writes,

Two weeks ago, many conservative Anglicans met at GAFCON to produce their own statement of doctrinal foundations and to begin their own way forward. It is not difficult to see why many faithful Anglicans felt that such a move was needed. But it should be no less difficult to see why the GAFCON path will only lead to further schism. In essence, if it is followed as an alternative to the existing structures of Anglicanism, it amounts to the creation of a new evangelical church in the Anglican tradition. Many orthodox Anglicans will not in good conscience be able to join them, and where there is one split, more are sure to follow.

The prayers of all Christians over this matter are much needed.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on July 16, 2008 8:39 PM.

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