Monday, June 30, 2008

Liberal Anglicans Committed "Act of Folly"?

Conservative Anglicans wrapped up their meeting in Jerusalem and outlined details of their new movement, which will essentially create a church within a church. From the Washington Post:
Conservative Anglican leaders vowed on Sunday to stay in the worldwide Anglican Communion but form a council of bishops to provide an alternative to churches they say are preaching a "false gospel" of sexual immorality.

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) said member churches would continue sponsoring breakaway conservative parishes in liberal western member countries and called for a separate conservative province in North America.

They stopped short of calling for a schism, although it is difficult to see how this move isn't another step towards one since they are directly challenging the traditional structure of the Anglican communion which treats the Archbishop of Canterbury as a first among equals, and it will certainly encourage more fracturing of dioceses and legal battles over property control.

Via VirtueOnline, a conservative Anglican blog, saw this quote by one of the prime-movers in the new movement, Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen:
American revisionists committed an extraordinary strategic blunder in 2003 . They did not think that there would be any consequences.

Now if they did not believe that there would be consequences, that is an arrogant thing, I have to say. But I don't know them, so I really cannot say. The consequences have been unfolding over the last five years. Now their church is divided; it looks as though there will be permanent division, one way or the other.

All around the world the sleeping giant that is evangelical Anglicanism and orthodox Anglicanism has been aroused by what happened in Canada and the United States of America. It was an act of folly.
Was it really an act of folly? It is difficult to imagine that the liberal wing didn't consider the possible consequences of their actions, including schism. But it is also quite likely that they have chosen the path they are following because they believe God is leading them and they are doing the right and moral thing. The conservative backlash is not surprising and it is no reason not to continue doing the right thing. There are some principles worth fighting for.

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