Lobbing one in from the sides
When people complain about political things at home, I always ask them if they voted in the last election. If not, I stop listening. You have to participate in the process toward a solution if you want to complain, it seems to me. I feel the same way about bishops in the Anglican Communion. Those who chose not to attend the Lambeth Conference are not the ones to guide the Communion, in my view.
Marginalized by his non-attendance at the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda has decided to try to lob a hand grenade in from the sides. You can go read the whole thing if you want. I’ll just pick two bits for a quick response:
The crisis in the Communion is serious; our commitment to biblical and historic faith and mission are serious; and we want to be taken seriously. In 2003 the Episcopal Church in America consecrated as bishop a man living in an active homosexual relationship. This unilateral and unbiblical action was directly contrary to a resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.
Well, yes, I’ll give you one point. ECUSA did not completely obey Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10. But then again, neither did your church, Archbishop Orombi. That resolution calls for listening to the experience of gay and lesbian Christians. Have you invited GLBT people to address you and your church? That resolution also calls for providing pastoral care to GLBT people and to assuring them of their place as full members of the church. I wonder what efforts have been completed on that front?
This one is my favorite:
How can we go to Holy Communion, sit in Bible study groups, and share meals together, pretending that everything is OK?, that we are still in fellowship with the persistent violators of biblical teaching and of Lambeth resolutions?
The Bible says: “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked us to “wait for each other”. But how is it possible when we are not travelling in the same direction?
The Bible also says “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ (John 8:7)” That is to say, if the test of who can receive Holy Communion is the absence of sin, then I’m afraid no one will receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
Nourished on Christ’s presence and graced by God’s Spirit, reconciliation in the Anglican Communion is possible. Reconciliation will not happen if people stay away from the table and spend their energy writing newspaper editorials rather than engaging their sisters and brothers in Christ.
Please come to the table, Archbishop Orombi. Listen to others. Let others listen to you. And together listen for the still, small voice of God.