The more I read, the more it strikes me that we are so short sighted. We stand at a time in the Anglican communion when it would be very easy to lose hope. Many have already left to participate in “orthodox” Anglican churches. Some of them I have only heard about, others I know personally.
In all this, it is very easy, at least to me, to give up. We could just simply start over. There are many who have already done this. In the Anglican Church this has been happening since the 19th century.
I am not wanting to bring condemnation on those who have left, implying that they were somehow weak or not up to the task. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the most mature and faithful brothers/sisters in Christ I know have felt the need to leave the Anglican Church either in the States or here in Canada.
In my own church, there is a divide between those who feel that secession is the way forward, others who have no desire to do so. It has caused great pain in my own parish family, so much so that there are many casualties on both sides.
Recently, as I have been reflecting on my own parish family’s dysfunction, I am reminded that it is family that can cause the deepest wounds.
All of this to say that I came across an article by John Stott entitled What We Should Do.
I have read it before but it gave me great encouragement. It does not solve the ‘hunger’ I feel for a resolution to the situation, but it encourages me to continue to press forward even though there appears to be no positive resolution.
Stott points out that there are three options or ‘ways’ in which the present crisis could be handled: 1) the way of secession, 2) the way of compromise or 3) the way of witness. The first is to leave completely, many times based on ‘biblical’ support. Stott notes that this ‘way’ sacrifices unity for truth. The second, the way of compromise, sacrifices truth for unity. The third, the way of witness, holds truth and unity in tension. It is a tension that is most times uncomfortable and tiring. But it is a tension that must be held.
I hope that for those who have felt that the only way forward is to ‘walk apart’ that you will hear what this article says and receive it in the manner in which it is intended.
I pray that we will hold fast to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Peace be to you all.