Wednesday, July 22, 2009

++Duncan to Anglican Communion: “There is a choice to be made.”

Yesterday, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, Robert Duncan, issued an open letter to the Anglican Communion.

There is one courageous aspect of the letter that I think is getting overlooked. ++Duncan is not presenting the current situation as an opportunity for the Anglican Communion to recognize ACNA in addition to The Episcopal Church. Instead, he seems to discourage that route and in clear language exhorts the Communion to make a choice:

The North American poet, Robert Frost, once wrote: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled by. That has made all the difference.” For Anglican Christians, for the Instruments of Unity (Communion), for interdependent Provinces, for ordinary believers, there is a choice to be made. The choice is between two religions, two roads, two cities, two sets of conflicting values and behaviors. In Deuteronomy, chapter 30, Moses sets the choice as between blessing and curse, life and death. For contemporary Anglicanism the present choice is this stark.

He is not saying, “Can I join the club, too? Please? Can I?” He certainly seems to saying the choice for the Anglican Communion is TEC or ACNA, not both.

Of course, as only Bishop Duncan can, he lays out the choice gently and humbly. Nevertheless, he does so clearly and courageously.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this letter. His intent may be simply to urge the Communion to stick with orthodox catholic Christianity and to reject the apostasies of the Episcopal Church. But I think ++Duncan is not nearly as interested in joining an Anglican Communion with The Episcopal Church as people think.

If so, I concur. There is something very wrong with a communion that would not discipline the likes of The Episcopal Church.

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