06 December 2011

AMiA Crossroads

This link will take you to an article detailing Rwanda's attempt to assert authority over "bishop" Chuck Murphy who was unlawfully ordained by the then current archbishops of Singapore and Rwanda. A PDF, here contains two letters sent by Murphy to the Archbishop and bishops of Rwanda.

I wrote about this controversy a few weeks ago, as did other reporters only to be scolded by those thinking that all was well and that I was as one email correspondent put it, "attempting to so discord." I am sad to find my reprting vindicated.

I have repeatedly warned that seeking to set institutional boundaries of holiness leads to repeated, ever finer splintering. The churches that signed the St. Louis Declaration pledged unity and were over 50 "true" denominations in two years. That way lies irrelevance.

Schism is the price of boundaries.


I want to be clear here, I am not happy about this, celebrating it, nor am I suggesting that all or most of the folks involved are less than faithful Christians as they understand that goal. I was outraged, as were many in TEC when the then primates of Rwanda and Singapore chose to violate almost 2000 years of catholic canon practice with their, "incursion" ordination of what was called the "missile" bishops. But, as AMiA grew into a truly separate body, and focused its evangelical efforts not on sheep stealing, or attempting theft of TEC real property, but rather on making new converts, leaving its TEC history well and truly behind; I came to wish them well.

I so wish this had not happened. Contrary to the fiction one reads on some blogs, I and I suspect many TEC progressives did not want any of the conservatives to leave. We in fact, really think that the right answer is "Comprehensive Unity." That is, we do not expect everyone to think what we think, see God as we see God, or use every ceremony or incense burner we use. We actually want every perspective to be present and heard. But for some self-styled "orthodox Anglicans" that won't do. They require a monochrome, narrow view. As they continually tighten the boundaries, they splinter.

A good many AMiA lay and clerical members, none of whom were consulted about a schism, are going to find themselves adrift. Pray for them. They are sheep whose shepherds are unable to comfort them.


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