The Open Evangelicals come Onboard
For those who doubt where the likes of Fulcrum stand, this piece just published by Bishop Graham Kings shows very clearly that the open evangelicals are showing very clearly where they stand.
At its general convention last month, the Episcopal church faced a defining moment in its full membership of the Anglican communion. Tragically, perceptibly and decisively â€“ in spite of a personal visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury â€“ it moved in the direction of isolation, and relegated itself, within the communion. It gave the green light to the consecration of more bishops who are in sexual relationships outside the marriage bond and started the official process towards the liturgical blessings of same-sex unions.
The presiding bishop said that this was more “descriptive” than “prescriptive” but it seems to me, and to most of the secular and church media, as being in fact “permissive”. A change has been sensed and people are incensed.
In spite of expressions of commitment to the communion from general convention, when the choice came over interdependence or autonomy, the latter came out top. The pillar preferred to stand alone and ignore the linking arches. Is it now on track to being transformed into a flying buttress? Well, not quite.
In response to the decisions taken at general convention, The Archbishop of Canterbury, has outlined a “two track” future for provinces in the Anglican communion, with a choice of covenantal or associate status. One track is for those who are willing to intensify their relationships of interdependence in the communion, through signing the proposed Anglican covenant, and the other is for those who prefer federal automony, not signing the covenant.
The Anglican communion is involved in “intensifying” its current relationships and those who do not wish to continue on that “intensifying” trajectory may remain where they are, which will become track two, while the centre of the Communion moves on with glacial gravity into track one. Not exclusion, but intensification: not force, but choice.
No doubt Open Evangicals will now be labelled “fundmentalist” by liberal groups, and wonder out loud how Graham Kings managed to fool decent Anglicans into making such an extremist a Bishop, etc etc etc.
However, the major difference (in my view) between “Open” and “Conservative” Evangelicals is much more to do with the degree to which we are prepared to compromise, rather than the positions we actually take on issues of orthodoxy and orthopraxy.