Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Reinvasion Grows

Overnight, news broke that the orthodox Anglican reinvasion of North America grows. I call it a “reinvasion” because I liken it to a series of miniature D-days to take Anglican territory back from the enemy and collaborators.

Kenya will now form “a North American Anglican Coalition” and consecrate Dr. Bill Atwood as bishop on August 30th. Here’s the news release from the Primate of Kenya.

I have so many thoughts I hardly know where to begin, but I’ll recklessly throw some out there.

First, I think this move can be seen as growing defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. ++Rowan clearly asked ++Akinola not to consecrate +Minns. Yet not long after, another primate chooses to do virtually the same thing. And that primate is the relatively quiet Archbishop Nzimbi, hardly a flamethrower.

And ++Rowan has only himself to blame. Since 2003, orthodox North American Anglicans have pleaded for refuge from the apostasies and predations of the Episcopal Church. Yet he has done close to nothing. His inaction has created a vacuum of godly leadership that needed to be filled. And it is being filled by primates such as ++Nzimbi, ++Akinola, and ++Venables.

Thank God there are primates with the backbone to do the right thing regardless of ++Rowan’s dithering.

Second, moves to provide an Anglican place for the orthodox in North America are sharpening divisions among the orthodox themselves. This is reflected by some of the comments on relevant posts such as the first one above.

Though regrettable, this is nothing new. Whenever a mainline church goes apostate, many orthodox cannot abide it and feel they must create or leave for other jurisdictions. And some other orthodox instead feel loyalty to the mainline church and want the orthodox to stay and struggle. And some in the two groups get mad at each other. This has happened before.

I am convinced it’s time for the orthodox to leave the Episcopal Church, and I understand much of the anger directed at stay-and-work groups such as the ACI. But both groups need to work to maintain Christian comity. This increasing anger between the two groups is unfortunate.

But count me among those who do very much agree with the moves to create orthodox Anglican entities in North America separate from the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada (AND to bring about the greatest possible unity among said orthodox entities, hopefully in a new province). Whether or not these become part of the Anglican Communion or of a new orthodox Anglican communion, it’s time to move on with the work of rescuing and growing orthodox Anglicanism in North America.

To keep waiting until the next meeting and the next statement, and especially to wait on the current occupant of the See of Canterbury, just further bleeds the patient and plays into the hands of the enemy. Let the reinvasion continue.

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