Thursday, November 11, 2004

Churchly Quality Control

I’ve decided to begin something.

A huge topic I want us to wrestle with here from time to time is how should the church deal with error in its midst . . . or Churchly Quality Control (CQC) for short.

A (all too) frequent Protestant way to deal with churchly error, perceived or real, is to split and form another denomination, or at least to flee an errant church. And, of course, individual Protestants often will change denominations, as I have. Evangelicals frequently engage in such ad hoc CQC.

I have very mixed feelings on denominations, which I may go into at a later time.

Now the Pontificator advises some Episcopalians to leave their church. But he has such strong feelings on what he perceives to be Protestant denominations that he advises Anglicans who do leave the Episcopal Church USA to not join a continuing Anglican church but to join the Roman Catholics or the Orthodox. He sees the continuing Anglican churches as just more Protestant denominations and therefore not a good option. (Esteemed Pontificator, if I’m oversimplifying too much, please correct me.)

I don’t think that’s fair or accurate myself. To give two examples, the Reformed Episcopal Church and Anglican Mission in America at the very least seek to be connected with other Anglicans worldwide and hardly have a denominational spirit. The AMiA is a mission of the Anglican Province of Rwanda and therefore isn’t a denomination at all.

But in any case, the resulting thread is quite a discussion on what’s a denomination and what’s not, and on what are valid options for fleeing Anglicans.

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