26 September 2007

The Ambiguity is Dead! Long Live The Ambiguity!

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church ™ has finished meeting in New Orleans. They stared the Current Unpleasantness in the face, and boldly said pretty much what they've said before. Here is my synopsis of their response, without all the fluff and rhetoric of the original:

Dear Anglican Communion:

We’re really sorry the rest of you can’t see what a great gift we’ve given the Communion with our “prophetic vision”.

But it if makes you ignorant slugs out there happy, we promise not to give a pointy hat to another non-celibate gay person – for now (so pay no attention to the candidate up for Bishop of Chicago with her live-in partner.).

And we won’t “publicly” authorize gay marriages for a few more years. But what happens in “private”, well…. Wink. Wink. (This will hereafter be known as the “Bishop Bruno Rule”.)

We want to remain part of the Communion because, well, the Communion needs us and our "prophetic vision" so much. And we need the Communion to tell us how wonderful we are. Besides, you can't throw us out.

We’ll take care of those within our own Church who disagree with us in our own way, thank you very much. We have our subpoenas, sorry, “episcopal visitors” all ready and waiting.

We don’t take orders, especially from uppity Africans - and we sure as hell don’t want them in our neighborhood. We demand all of the old rules we like be enforced.

We promise to give you a heads-up the next time we ignore all the old rules we don’t like and go our own way with this “prophetic vision” thing.

We want the Communion to keep listening to us and our “prophetic vision”; at least until everyone agrees with our point of view.

Did we tell you how much we hate Africans in our neighborhood?

That bishop’s party the Communion throws at Lambeth is meaningless, and has no power over us. But we damn well better be invited, and you damn well better invite Vicki, too.

In closing, we want you to know we really, really like gay people. And you ignorant slugs out there should, too.



This meeting said little that hasn’t already been said before. At least they didn’t hide behind “polity” and Vatican-bashing like they did in March, and they did (finally) say that they will not consent to any more non-celibate gay bishops – until General Convention in 2009, anyway. Will this fly with the rest of the Anglican Communion? I doubt it. The growing provinces of the Anglican Communion, who are now the vast majority of the Communion, see the don’t-give-a-damn unilateralism of The Episcopal Church ™ as a liability in Mission, especially those in parts of the world where Anglicanism and Christianity are under assault by Radical Islam. The majority of the Communion may see the need to limit it’s liability by insulating themselves from The Episcopal Church ™ and other declining, like-minded provinces. It is going to be a tough call.

Will I, and my family, be Episcopalian in a year? Before this meeting I answered yes – I would stay and fight. My focus is on Christ and on trying to live my Faith as God revealed in Scripture - not how we adhere to the legalisms of earthly Canons and Constitutions. But now, I’m not so sure about it all. Our bishops seem to have gone from defenders of our Faith to defenders of our “Polity”. I’m not sure the focus of The Episcopal Church ™ is the same as mine anymore. If the focus of our Church is now our “polity”, where Scripture is meaningless and our Faith is whatever 51 percent of our General Convention wants it to be, what’s the bloody point?

UPDATE: StandFirm, Brad Drell and Kendall Harmon have much, much more.

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