Monday, 3 August 2009

A Different Way Forward

MadPriest has come up with a lovely alternative to all this Anglican Covenant nonsense.

He writes:

I do have a solution. It's orthodox and as old as the writings of St. Paul. My solution has two directions.

Firstly, we should not hold so tightly to each other within the Communion. We should go back to the early church paradigm of independent churches - in our case this would probably be at provincial level. Each church, as it did in those early days, should exist within the culture of its own location. Not always aping that culture but always knowledgeable of it - especially in respect of its customs and language. All our missionary effort should be local and based on our relationship with the society we live in.

But, secondly, the sacraments of baptism and communion must be common among all the churches. All this rubbish about not sharing communion for whatever reason has to stop. All the baptized should be able to receive and/or be prepared to receive communion in any church. It is my greatest hope that one day this will be accepted by all Christians in all denominations.

In other words we should not seek unity through human constructs such as dogma and covenants. Our unity should be in our common baptism and our sharing in Christ's body.

The branches of the vine are in different places. But, no matter how far apart they are from each other they are connected to each other through the stem of the vine. Until we understand that the different parts of the universal church can only relate to each other through Christ - not through human councils, we will never be able to live with each other. We need to accept our human limitations and humbly allow God to heal us, in his own time, through the body and blood of his Son.

In other words - keep it simple, let it be, accept diversity and leave the hard work to the Spirit.

I name this solution - The Provincial Church Movement. I don't think anybody will be able to make PCM sound mucky.


You know, I'm very shaky on my doctrine... not entirely sure what I think about sacrament or how convinced I am of Jesus' divinity and really generally quite confused. But as a structure for the church, or even the Church? I'd accept that. I'd be up for participating, even based on my current very shaky understanding.

2 comments:

The Exegesis Fairy said...

It has, at least, a beautiful simplicity. Of course, as we are in the days of the Internet, Youtube and whatever, the actions of other churches are always going to have an effect on the global church. So maybe it doesn't work so well.

I like the communion/baptism idea. I'd like the creeds in there as well, but then I'm like that.

Mostly I'd just like everyone to stop biting everyone else's heads off.

But such things, it seems, are not to be.

Song in my Heart said...

Of course, as we are in the days of the Internet, Youtube and whatever, the actions of other churches are always going to have an effect on the global church.


I think this would be true even without the near-instant communications we now enjoy. Everything is interconnected, and always has been.

I like the communion/baptism idea. I'd like the creeds in there as well, but then I'm like that.

I really struggle with the creeds. I'm not sure whether I think they should be required membership material or not. Wanting to know God better, wanting to understand, wanting to believe... seems good enough for God but not good enough for various churches.


Mostly I'd just like everyone to stop biting everyone else's heads off.


You and me both! It is sad that people get so defensive that they lash out at one another.

But such things, it seems, are not to be.

Don't go telling Isaiah that... ;)