Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Personal Reflections on Remaining in TEC

I can continue to minister in TEC and the Anglican Communion for two overriding reasons. First, TEC and the Anglican Communion are still explicitly catholic, even if many of the bishops/clergy are (in varying degrees) preaching/teaching inconsistently with the Church's credo. Second, I don't believe in the doctrine of "the total depravity of TEC" (sorry folks). In my experience, though things may be bad, even really bad at times, I have not written off every person, every bishop, every priest or deacon that holds (to some degree) "revisionist positions."

If one were to listen indiscriminately to the rhetoric of the GAFCON conservatives, one would conclude that every person, every bishop, every priest and deacon that is in any way identified with "revisionism" is totally void of a living faith. I know this to be an unfair generalization.

In essence, I don't believe that the simple "two gospels" dichotomy is an accurate working description of the way things really are in TEC or the Anglican Communion. Truth be told, people are all over the map. Only the most tenacious folks on the extreme wings are living into the reality of "two gospels" and believe it to be their divine calling to impose one or the other "gospel" on everyone else. That's why the only thing that really matters at the end of the day is the Church's credo, not our individual "credos," and endeavoring to live into it.

4 comments:

Death Bredon said...

I don't buy the null-and-void, total-depravity characterization of the TEC either. And it may be explicitly Catholic in credo, if by that we mean the creed commonly called Nicene is in some sense "official." But, is mere profession of the Creed sufficient grounds to stay affiliated?

Historically, the actual practice of Orthodox Catholic bishops has been to disaffiliate, if at all possible, with those who knowingly and willfully profess any doctrine contrary to the Church's dogma or "phromena."

Of course, these bishops usually did not take a rigorist stance towards their brothers in error, allowing them to return to the communion of the authentic Faith without necessarily considering all schismatic sacraments null and void.

Still, the fact that grace may be alive in few parts of the TEC, is hardly grounds for sticking around should viable alternatives exist. What would be the "stayer's" motto? "Stay with us because salvation just might be possible in a few parts of the TEC!" Can't ANY religious jurisdiction claim that?

Death Bredon said...

P.S.,

Lest I should to negative -- I just want to say that I love your website and hope you continue to post intellectually challenging thoughts!

Love the "links" especially!

Third Mill Catholic said...

Death Bredon writes: "I don't buy the null-and-void, total-depravity characterization of the TEC either. And it may be explicitly Catholic in credo, if by that we mean the creed commonly called Nicene is in some sense "official." But, is mere profession of the Creed sufficient grounds to stay affiliated?"

Considering the alternatives, or rather the lack of alternatives, yes, it is the only choice for the time being. I am fortunate enough to be in a good diocese. So I have no plans to leave.

matt boulter said...

I agree with your post, brother. Please keep resisting the false dichotomies!

Matt Boulter
www.religiocity.org