Are TEC already non-Covenant compliant?
OK. Firstly, Lambeth ’98 1.10 says:
2 – in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
4 – while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture…
and the new draft covenant says:
5 – The Lambeth Conference, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressing episcopal collegiality worldwide, gathers the bishops for common counsel, consultation and encouragement and serves as an instrument in guarding the faith and unity of the Communion.
and also says:
3.1 – Each church commits itself to uphold and act in continuity and consistency with the catholic and apostolic faith, order and tradition, biblically derived moral values and the vision of humanity received by and developed in the communion of member Churches
I think that pretty well says that the Lambeth Conference in 1998 has already ruled on what biblical morality is. Given the evidence that TEC has gone ahead in allowing same-sex blessings and consecrating a man who is in a homosexual relationship, doesn’t that make TEC already in the position of 6.6?
We acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfil the substance of the covenant as understood by the Councils of the Instruments of Communion, we will consider that such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenantâ€™s purpose, and a process of restoration and renewal will be required to re-establish their covenant relationship with other member churches
Does this means that TEC has already de facto thrown itself out until a process of restoration and renewal is in place? The ACC have already said that TEC were wrong (in 2005), the Primates did in their Dromantine statement (which the ACC picked up and endorsed) so if Canterbury gives them a hand-slap then they’re out surely?
OK, TEC have got to ratify the Covenant, but if they’re already in non-compliance they’re hardly likely to agree to it just to be thrown out. So if they don’t ratify it then they’re outside the Covenantal Communion even before they get kicked out.