Monday, September 24, 2007

Give Me a Break!

One of the men who accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury to our House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans was Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem. Upon reading his speech (read, “scolding”) to the bishops, I felt it was important to respond (I would post the speech, but it is little more than what I note before, only with more flourishes).

Is it a fair reading of this speech to conclude that this is what he is saying, in plain English:

1. The Muslims with whom we live will dictate the terms of what is essential in our faith and we dare not deviate from their judgment.

2. The American Church no longer values the historic Creeds, the Bible, Jesus or much else central to the Christian faith. What is the evidence for that? We just told you that it is so.

3. The Lambeth Conference, which at no time previous to its last meeting was ever considered a legislative body, has legislated the one and only one interpretation of seven verses of the Bible. If you don't agree with those interpretations, it is likely that, as others have told me, you are not Christian.

4. The Anglican Communion values diversity -- but only within the confines of uniformity. Some of my best friends are different from me.

5. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, which enters into dialogue with complete openness to embracing our truths and discarding their own,the Americans have a real stake in the outcome of sitting around a table.

6. I am aware that I have hinted that you are a non-Christian religion and have been more than clear that you have no regard for standards or communion, but please forgive me if, by any means, I might have offended you.

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