Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thoughts on North American Anglican Unity

I’ve mentioned that one reason I joined the Reformed Episcopal Church is that it has a vision of being part of something bigger than itself. And that it is therefore actively seeking unity with other Anglicans. There’s the movement toward merger with the Anglican Province of America. And the REC has joined Common Cause and helped form the Anglican Federation of America.

Like the REC, I desire Anglican unity around orthodoxy that is both robust and diverse. Along those lines, Matt Kennedy has written an excellent article over at Stand Firm. I share his concerns. It’s important that we not so major on minors that we remain a big separated alphabet soup. But it’s also important that we have more of a basis for unity than adherence to the Windsor Report. We must so strongly and clearly confess what orthodox Christians have believed through the centuries that those who hold to the idol of uncertainty would have to change their ways to join.

Anything less will just invite a repeat of the Episcopal Church’s problems in the future.

I therefore also strongly agree that it is the Network and Common Cause that must lead in bringing about unity, not the Camp Allen bishops. They have been too much a part of the problem and are only recently perhaps maybe becoming a tepid part of the solution.

Again, we must be united around the basics of the faith, but flex on things on which Christians can honestly differ, such as Marian doctrine. Personally, I want full communion with Anglicans who are orthodox but differ with me on various lesser doctrines. I again commend to you an excellent paper by the REC and APA, which states, “Part of the genius of Anglicanism . . . has been its clearly defined standards on first order doctrines, while at the same time it has allowed for a breadth of belief regarding second order doctrines.”

I’m convinced that is indeed the way we should go forward.

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