Giving Covenant a Bad Name

Anglican Mainstream posted “A Covenant for the Church of England” which has come from a group described as a “wide group of Evangelical and Charismatic members of the Church of England with the support of a number of Anglo-Catholic leaders.” This Covenant was given to the Archbishop of Canterbury at a meeting on December 12th.

When the small group who presented it left, it is my fervent hope and prayer that the Archbishop filed it in the deep recesses of the “not to be opened on the pain of death” drawer, there to dry to a crisp and eventually crumble in dust.

This is not in any sense a “Covenant” of the sort sought by those who are speaking of an Anglican Covenant. This is an agreement to become a narrow and disagreeable cult.

The only value in bringing it up is that it is indicative of the fact that the Elizabethan settlement never actually took hold in England and that the Puritans are alive and well. King, Archbishop, Bishop and every other secular and religious power beware. And, to be honest, every Christian given to thinking freely ought to be on guard.

This Covenant language gives the idea of an Anglican Covenant a bad name.

A really good idea is to distance ourselves from anything like such a covenant. We would do better to think about a compact. At least that name has not been made a sham.

The more I think about it, the better it seems: Let’s draw up a compact, as if we were agreeing to work together, rather than a covenant as if we were agreeing.


D. C. said...

A compact instead of a covenant — what an intriguing idea!

Frank said...

This 'covenant' reads more like a press release to the local paper or a high school writing exercise. This is who we are... This is what we want... This is how we are going to get it. It was written to satisfy the wants of a narrow splinter group in England, drafted by "ten blind mice", three of whom have doctorate degrees". I read it more than once which is much more attention than it deserves.

Mark Harris said...

DC...I spell out a bit more of the compact idea in an earlier blog...http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2006/07/independence-and-pack-of-cards.html
Thanks for the note, and for the reference on your blog.


Phil said...

OK, you don't like it. As one of the more thoughtful voices on the left, however, a fuller explanation of why would have been interesting.

Anonymous said...

That document reads like a press release from a committee of Southern Baptist public relations consultants.

It's about as Anglican as Jerry Falwell.