An Initial Response to the Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Lambeth Palace
Copyright 2003 William G. Meisheid  (10-17-03)

It appears the assembled Bishops, whatever their individual titles, in typical modern Anglican fashion avoided confronting the issue head on and heavily used the language of diplomacy in their published statement. No matter what they say later in the document, their primary concerns are expressed in the fourth paragraph, which speaks volumes in what it left out. The text follows.

These actions threaten the unity of our own Communion as well as our relationships with other parts of Christ's Church, our mission and witness, and our relations with other faiths, in a world already confused in areas of sexuality, morality and theology, and polarised [sic] Christian opinion.
(full text of the statement)

At no time were they willing to admit that these actions threaten the belief and historical understanding of the Christian faith. They focused instead on relationships, within and without. They also focused on Christian opinion, rather than Christian belief; but even at that point they only seem to call out polarized opinion. What is that - radical gay and radical 'antigay' opinions? It gets very tiring to continually hear anyone holding to traditional biblical sexual mores typecast as 'antigay' and bigoted. It appears to me that sexual issues have become the only issues that matter publicly to the church and those in positions of outside observation these days. Woman's ordination was really a sexual issue, as is 'same sex' unions however defined. What we are seeing is a slow removal of the substance of the Church's moral, ethical, and social teaching on sex, human sexuality, and the nature of creation, especially the Genesis account which forms the root of our understanding of what is human and how we relate to God. What's next bestiality, incest, and pedophilia? Where do you stop once the biblical restraints are thrown aside and a "loving and mutually satisfying committed relationship" is the only necessary rationale to lay aside God's explicit commands and obvious created order?

The Primates get around facing some of their conundrums by the oft-used platitudes that everyone accepts the authority of the scriptures and some interpret those scriptures differently. Notice the conciliatory statement made by the chief conservative primates where they say, "We are so grateful to God for hearing the prayers and cries of his praying people to preserve both the truth and the unity of the Anglican Communion." At what cost? I say again, at what cost? Believe me, truth was not preserved. As to preservation of unity, what happens to that if the consecration goes forward on November 2, just two weeks away? To paraphrase Paul in 1 Corinthians how can you unite yourself with a prostitute without becoming part prostitute yourself?

One thing that continues to vex me about this whole debate is that the principals hinge their objections on the actual consecration, forgetting that before God the vote was the true event. Unless the vote is rescinded, the fact of the consecration is secondary and thanks to the Sermon on the Mount, spiritually redundant. The decision was made. Only repentance from the vote can change anything. Even if the consecration were delayed (I believe it would never be rescinded) to allow this whitewash of a one year study to go forward, it doesn't change the fact that those who voted for Robinson are in effect embracing apostasy. We are not talking about private opinions, we are talking about a public position, taken by Bishops of the Church, contrary to the foundations of the Christian faith once delivered unto the saints. I see the failure to address that central fact as the fundamental failure of this whole debate, whether from the Primates or the dissention within ECUSA. Everyone seems to think that if the consecration is somehow averted, things can go back to some sense of normality. Hogwash and double hogwash! God has already been mocked and the window dressing of the consecration being delayed or averted will not change that fact.

To me the only thing that was solved by this meeting was a clear demonstration of Episcopal failure, of Bishops failing their God-given responsibility to be defenders of the faith. No matter what happens going forward, compromise and Laodacian wishy-washiness have stripped the Anglican Episcopal office of its validity before God and the Church.

There is only one course open to them, the course of repentance and contending for faith. How many will take it? Few if any. The devil approached Jesus and offered him the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. He flatly rejected him. He did not mince his words with diplomatic doublespeak.

This is like the scene out of the The Brothers Karamazov, where the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition puts Jesus on trial for his failure to seize that moment and take advantage of the offer of power to address the problems of the world during his temptation in the wilderness. In this version our Primates, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons agree with the Inquisitor and instead are seizing their opportunity and making a bargain with Satan. While Jesus saw through the trickery of focusing on a possible small good which would sacrifice the essential underlying truth, our spiritual leadership instead embraces the questionable good and calls it leadership when they abandon the foundational truths in the process.

The seed is sown, the tares have grown up within the wheat field and have begun to choke the life out of the fruitful stalks, and the whirlwind approaches. Only God can rescue His wheat from destruction. Are you tares or are you wheat?

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