A Resolution and a Plea
I perhaps should have made this post on New Years Day or before. But I’ve struggled with how to approach what I think needs to be said and still do even as I type this (which will probably show).
Those who peruse the big Anglican blogs know that “Communion Conservatives” (those who advocate contending for the faith by staying in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion) and “Federal Conservatives” (those who are convinced one or both of those bodies are too far gone to the point they think it best orthodox at least prepare to leave) are rather close to each other’s throats at the moment.
To be honest, I have my opinion as to which side is most at blame, but that’s not my concern right now. This post may even seem a bit vague because I don’t want to engage in figure pointing. For my concern is that anger between the two sides is getting to and past the point that it will make it difficult for these two sides of orthodox Anglicans to work together in the future.
That distresses me. If it turns out the Federal Conservatives are right and the Communion Conservative eventually find staying in TEC and the like to be untenable, I want the Comm-Cons to feel they have a refuge in Common Cause and/or whatever church bodies the Fed-Cons form. Likewise, if a miracle happens and the Anglican Communion or even the Episcopal Church sufficiently reforms, I want Fed-Cons to feel they can return. I hope the current divisions between the two are temporary. And even if Comm-Cons and Fed-Cons remain on different tracks, I want them to be able still to work together on those things they can.
For the sake of current and future unity and witness, both sides should step back and engage in self-criticism instead of undercutting the other side. And, yes, there has been willful undercutting of the efforts of faithful orthodox Anglicans by other committed orthodox Anglicans. That must stop.
Communion Conservatives should focus on what they are going to do in the current situation instead of undercutting what the Federal Conservatives are doing. Likewise, Federal Conservatives should focus on their direction and not ridicule the strategy of Communion Conservatives or say they are in any way unfaithful for staying.
And I include myself in that. I find some Communion Conservatives exasperating at times, and when I get in rant mode, my words can be rather sharp. So if I’ve said anything unhelpful about the Comm-Cons, I apologize. I will exercise the utmost care in what I write about them from henceforth, and I invite my good readers to hold me accountable in that.
Both sides need likewise to step back and repent or at least relent lest we become an ugly spectacle that makes our divisions harsher and more permanent and causes long lasting damage to orthodox Anglican unity and witness.