Sunday, April 13, 2008

True Anglicanism

I am indebted to Rev Susan Russell for the link to the article in the Church Times by the Ven. Mark Oakley, Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe. (the area where I will bespending the next 2 months) titled "An issue! An issue! We all fall down"
It is an excellent statement of what I believe and cherish in the Anglican Church and which those who dominate the Sydney Diocese are doing their best to destroy.
Just some sections I particularly like-
there are Anglo-Catholics, Evangelicals, conservatives, liberals, radicals, and everything in between — all knowing where they stand, but, in generosity of spirit, acknowledging the different but faithful approaches to the Bible, tradition, and reasoning that there are legitimately other than their own. These people believe that the Church is a Noah’s ark, where every animal has to budge over in the straw to let someone else nestle down. This is a Church where friendships count for more than sound-bites, and which understands that something of God is shadowed every time a believer forgets that Christian faith is an exercise in humility. This has been the Anglican spirit at its best — with a resistance to over-definition of doctrine, in preference to worshipping together in common prayer.

The Anglican tradition has sought to be a scholarly, reflective, and intellectually honest one. It has therefore known that reading the Bible as a community and taking it seriously — honouring the many genuine historical and interpretative questions that are simply there — will inevitably lead to more than one conclusion. It is not so much that the Bible neatly answers all our questions, as that it questions all our answers. Its treasures are not yielded up overnight, at whim, or as ammunition. The only ultimate uniformity on offer is the constant fidelity of God towards us all.

A little self-reflection might be important. I cannot be the only person who, since my confirmation at the age of 11, has found himself changing thoughts and opinions on almost everything as the years pass. In those years, though, the Church of England has been large enough to be my home — a spiritual compass, not a dictator telling me with whom I cannot meet or pray.

Hear! hear!


Doorman-Priest said...

Beautifully put.

BooCat said...

Oh, yes! That is exactly it!