Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Preview of Tanzania on Monday

Most reasserting blogs have been filled with gloom and despair in the last few days. This is as a result of the analyses carried out on various blogsites which view the sub-group report on TEC’s response to the WR as detrimental to the orthodox agenda. I have advocated on several blogs that the despair exhibited by many is unwarranted. Now, I wish to reflect on Archbishop Gomez’s statements at yesterday’s press conference. I believe when weighed, they will reveal much cause for excitement. What has the Archbishop told us?

1) There is no disciplinary action which you should expect from the AC towards TEC

The reasserting camp should understand that the Primates are unable to take any action against TEC. Archbishop Gomez notes: “[u]nfornately the Anglican Communion has no central legal authority and we have really no means of holding one another in check other than through mutual admonition and meeting and talking…” All the wishful thinking of disciplining TEC past what the AC has asked of it previously is merely that: wishful thinking. It ain’t gonna happen. Not because the Primates are cowards or have sold out. Rather, they lack the mechanism by which to carry this out.

2) An Anglican covenant has been proposed which effectively prevents TEC and/or any Communion church from taking any unilateral decision which affects the other Communion members.

Archbishop Gomez notes: “we are producing something that has merit and power for the Anglican Community.”

3) The Anglican covenant reflects orthodox teaching.

Archbishop Gomez notes: “we have produced what we consider to be a statement of classical Anglicanism…” Clearly such a covenant is not only a mechanism for hold each member accountable but also expresses a longstanding Anglican theology. There is clearly no new fangled understanding.

I believe that the expectations which the orthodox camp had with respect to TEC have been ill-founded. However, unable to respond in a desired manner, the Primates have developed a document which sets forth the means for handling any similar events in the future. The description of the document as being classically Anglican should tell us that it will be impossible for TEC to continue to express any further unilateral behavior. Should it wish to go in a different direction than the Communion route, it will effectively walk apart.

This should be grounds for rejoicing in the orthodox camp. Now we await news on a new Anglican Province in North America.

Disciplining TEC vs. New Province: What's our focus?

There has been tremendous gloom and doom on many of the reasserting blogs regarding the events in Tanzania. Quite frankly, I’m pleased about it. This may sound as a bizarre statement from a reasserter and yet I am emphatic about it. I have been extremely disturbed by the fact that so many bloggers have been looking to the meeting as the meeting where TEC is gonna git the whoopping it deserves! It’s a bit of a sadistic streak which has suddenly blossomed and I for one hate it.

I have been anxiously awaiting Tanzania in the expectation that this meeting will lay down the foundation for 1) an orthodox province in North America and 2) a covenant which will hold each Province accountable to each other, thereby forever preventing the actions of TEC at GC2003 from every occurring without AC consent.

While many other reasserters have also ascribed to this hope, many have been duped into a different agenda: that of insuring that TEC is punished for their WR non-compliance. Many reasserters have been actively advocating for the expulsion of TEC from the AC in a rather irrational manner. Thus, this sub-group report on TEC’s response to WR has been received by them with tremendous dismay.

A wonderful analysis of the ABC’s role in this report has been prepared by Craig Uffman, a gifted student at Duke Divinity School. I encourage all to read the report on the T19 website. I think it may help many of us take our focus off TEC and get us back on track focusing our prayers and energies in the effort to seek the creation of an orthodox province and a covenant.

I think that those who believe that in due time, TEC will walk away from the AC when it finds it can not assent to the new convenant, are correct in their analysis. Perhaps, they will be wrong. In either case, it seems to me that our hope and efforts must be for a new province. Of course, we may not get it. In that case, our eyes will then focus on whether or not, the Global South Primates are true to their theological positions and walk away from the AC. Failure to do so will have tremendous credibility and integrity implications for these Primates. May the Holy Spirit bring conviction into all our hearts during this difficult time.