anthills–Episcopalians & the Anglican Communion

April 26, 2006

-GENERAL CONVENTION AS WATERSHED

Filed under: Anglican, Anglican Communion, ECUSA — anthill @ 10:48 am

The platform of "The Consultation" (eleven ECUSA organizations) was published on Susan Russell’s blog of April 17.

According to Russell, the platform is “not just a legislative agenda for General Convention but a vision for the Episcopal Church — grounded in the one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism that bind us together as the Body of Christ called to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The following quote should be taken up word-for-word by those who don’t see things quite as The Consultation does:

We come to the 2006 General Convention in Columbus understanding clearly that the Episcopal Church is once again at a watershed moment in history. Now more than ever, it is critical to articulate what we believe and what we are called to do.

One only has to read between the lines a little to get the importance of this manifesto. The first “call” for the 2006 General Convention is to:

Continue the radical reformation [my italics] of the Church. [including] Remove all canonical obstacles to exercising the full baptismal ministry in the whole life of the Church.

If any Deputies to GC read the whole platform, please pay attention to the subtext that baptism, without explicit reference to vital faith in Jesus Christ, opens the way to consecration as a bishop. If I had to pick one factor that accounts for the scourge in our church, it would be bishops who give no clear testimony by their words and actions that they have a saving faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Let Deputies be clear about one more thing. Many of those who represented these eleven organizations are ready and willing to sacrifice the Anglican Communion for faithfulness to their principles. This comes out subtly in Susan Russell’s preface to the platform:

It strikes me as an extremely hopeful sign that as we move closer to Columbus and General Convention 2006 there are faithful folks at work creating a proactive platform for a vision calling us to look beyond fighting over the unity of the institutional church to proclaiming the mission of the prophetic church: Alleluia, Alleluia!

Read the platform. Search for one reference to a priority for proclaiming the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ—setting people free from the guilt and power of sin. Russell is aware of this component of our Anglican heritage. It comes out in one of her responses on her blog. But the evangelical and catholic mission of the gospel doesn’t make the list.

And let's be clear. Evangelical Episcopalians embrace the social and cultural implications of the gospel for our world (although I don't see the implications as most of the Consultation platform sees them). We are the hands and feet of Jesus in God's world.

But, if there is one thing, apart from a refusal to turn back to the Anglican Communion, that will drive me from the Episcopal Church, it is the abysmal omission at the national level of this church of evangelical priorities.

Advertisements

3 Comments »

  1. hi, I’m a new reader of this blog but I’d like to say that I share your concern about the National Church’s abandonment of the Great Commission that should for all intents and purposes be THE Mission Statement of all Christian organizations. I hope that you are in a diocese like I am where the bishop is firmly committed to Christ and the Gospel.

    Comment by AngCath — April 27, 2006 @ 11:32 am

  2. AngCath–Thanks for dropping by.

    My Bishop says the right words, but there is not a passion for leading people to see the utterly crucial nature of the gospel call.

    Comment by anthill — April 27, 2006 @ 11:44 am

  3. […] – GENERAL CONVENTION AS WATERSHED.. “The platform of “The Consultation” (eleven ECUSA organizations) was published on Susan Russell’s blog of April 17. She will not be surprised that comments ensue on titusonenine. I would pay to read Kendall Harmon’s analysis” … (anthill) […]

    Pingback by CaNN :: We started it. — April 27, 2006 @ 9:23 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: