I’ve also read too many posts about the report. There is one report, however, I would like you to consider. It is by the Rt. Rev’d. Michael Ingham, (right) Ordinary of
In his statement, Bishop Ingham said that the WCG’s proposals
“[Seek] to impose a singular uniformity upon the complex diversity of our Communion.” He said that while in some parts of the Communion “homosexuality is subject to criminal law and cultural prohibition,” in
If the proposals are accepted by the Communion, “it will put the Anglican Church of Canada in the position of having to support and defend irrational prejudice and bigotry in the eyes of our nation,” he added.
Bishop Ingham said that he had hoped to take something back to his diocese that was “something of value with respect to the difficulties facing our Communion. Unfortunately, the document handed out today is a non-starter where I live."
This part is most important for you to read. Bishop Ingham gave four reasons:
[Second], the document we have today is punitive in tone, setting out penalties and the like, instead of inviting us into deeper communion with one another through mutual understanding in the Body of Christ. Furthermore, it entrenches the principle of outside interventions. The suggestion of a Pastoral Forum in fact institutionalizes external incursions into the life of our churches.
[Third], it seeks to impose a singular uniformity upon the complex diversity of our Communion. I quite understand that in some parts of the Anglican Communion homosexuality is subject to criminal law and cultural prohibition. However, I live in a country where homosexual people enjoy the same rights and responsibilities under the law as every other citizen. To discriminate against homosexual people, as this document suggests, is no more acceptable in
Of course, there is a great deal of diversity in the Anglican Communion already. Issues such as the ordination of women, divorce, re-marriage, non-baptized and non-confirmed people admitted to Communion are but a few examples.
[Fourth], it ignores reality. Whatever this document says, illegal incursions will continue. We have heard already how they continue to happen even in places that maintain the traditional position of the Church on homosexuality. And furthermore, gay and lesbian people will not go away, nor will they be healed, because they are not sick. It is the church that is suffering from blindness and prejudice, and it is we who need to repent and be healed.
It is an old-world institutional response to a new-world reality in which people are being set free from hatred and violence.
It will not do to impose a rigid uniformity on a body so diverse as this Communion. The document will further divide us if it attempts to do so.
As I read his comments, an old song kept running though my mind. It was a “top 10” version of some familiar bible verses as recorded by The Byrds.
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones,
A time to gather stones together
A time of war, a time of peace,
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace,
A time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!
For the majority of the Anglican Communion, it is not too late and they will work for that peace.
But for some it is too late because they do not want peace. They have invested too much in the game. Now, at the end of the fourth quarter, they do not have the ball, and their quarterback says he is not interested in playing anymore; but like a delusional general, he demands the majority forfeit the communion to him. And Rowan askes to to please understand Akinola's pain. I would like to ask Rowan, how about the pain of their victims; are you feeling any of that?
What I learned as I sat and listened for God to talk to me for a change was, “how sad.” Jesus came to bring liberty yet some want law not liberty, hate, not love.
I'm so thankful that God has moved me beyond that place into a place of complete love and acceptance.