I’ve been looking forward to the Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) this summer, but with some trepidation. I’ve mentioned it is being hosted by Christ Church Plano, a flagship parish in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO). C4SO and its bishop Todd Hunter have been leaders in ACNA’s Social Justice and Church of What’s Happening Now wings that frequently aggravate traditionalists like your mild blogger.
I am not saying Christ Church Plano should not be hosting. With access to DFW Airport, a central location, and the large facilities of Christ Church, it is a logical choice. (Not to mention the shopping and restaurants in the area are nice enough to leave you fat and poor after a few days.) But there is still a danger of furthering division at a sensitive time for ACNA.
Another danger I see is the choice of Russell Moore as one of the main speakers. With the Social Justice Warriors within ACNA, there is already the danger that something controversial will be said or done that will pour gasoline on our divisions. Well, Russell Moore at times has seemed to delight in slinging around political gasoline.
As head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptists, he has attacked and baited Trump and his supporters while going easy on Hillary. And he has taken sides in the political area that perhaps is most contentious in ACNA, immigration. A sample of the upset that has provoked:
Moore also took on a role as one of the heads of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a George Soros-funded entity tasked with coaxing evangelicals into embracing amnesty.
And where was Moore on Christians' concerns that tens of thousands of unvetted Muslims, all labeled "refugees" and hand-picked by the United Nations, are flooding across our borders at a time when Muslim migration has unleashed horrors on Europe, Islamic terrorism is on the rise and ISIS has vowed to come into our country within the "refugee" population? Where were his statements about Left-leaning "Christian" refugee resettlement agencies, who are really just federal government contractors making big bucks on per-head resettlements, failing to advocate to bring more Christian refugees into the U.S.?
And while taking sides on issues on which there is much disagreement among faithful Christians, he abrasively attacks those on the Right who openly disagree with him.
To many conservatives, Moore not only advocates against many of the very positions most Southern Baptists hold to politically, but he does it with a kind of "politics-is-OK-for-me-but-not-for-thee" hypocrisy.
The manner in which Moore has led the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has sown division among Southern Baptists. We do not need him to sow division in ACNA.
Now, to his credit, he is outspoken and usually on the right side of pro-life and religious liberty issues. And thankfully there is consensus in these areas in ACNA. I hope at the Provincial Assembly, he will edify by exhorting us in these and other areas, political and non-political, on which faithful Christians can and should agree.
And I hope he will leave his gasoline at home.