Sunday, January 03, 2010

Do We Want the Anglican Covenant or Renewal?

How refreshing it would be to see the Anglican Communion address the issues in our faith (that is, our relationship to Jesus Christ and to the Trinity) rather than the ways we include or exclude one another through different processes of interpretation of Holy Scripture.

Some of what I have found most life-giving in the Anglican Church has been our understanding of the presence of Jesus Christ in the world and in our lives through our sacramental theology. Much the same has been through our theology of creation -- and our focus on the broader themes of the Gospel of John and on the comprehensiveness we find in Luke's Gospel.

Wouldn't it be more energizing for the Communion to embark on a joint, prayerful study related to those things rather than on the several codifications of them in our various ethics, moralities and the like which, over time, have becoming increasingly less connected to our faith, our sacramental understanding and experience of Jesus Christ and our religious understanding of Creation?

I believe such a venture would be a call for renewal and service in ways the Covenant is not and never will be. This process would be centered on our common reality in the Body of Christ, where the Covenantal process has been focused on the ways we are leery of others' living out their vocation as provinces or dioceses. So let's call the Communion into its full vocation through a period of study and reflection on:

The Sacramental Presence of Jesus Christ

Our theologies of Creation

The Gospels of John and Luke as reflected in our vocation as individuals, congregations, dioceses and provinces.

Diversity in the Body of Christ - in Biblical experience as well as in the early and later periods of church history.

I'm as tired as tired can be of factions and provinces chesting one another about who is more faithful or more moral or more powerful than those with whom they differ. That's a young boy's playground game -- and that is the game I see as the subtext of the various covenants before us. What was it that Paul wrote? "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man (adult) I gave up my childish ways."

The issue here is simple: Do we really yearn for a time when we can learn from one another as fellow members of the Body of Christ – or is insisting that our way is the only way more important? To put this in another way: Do we want the Anglican Covenant or Renewal? We can't have both.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back. Peter