Bishop David Anderson, President and CEO of the American Anglican Council, writes a weekly column. This week he opined that,
"We're aware that a few of our readers hold beliefs and opinions very opposite from ours on matters theological, spiritual and social, and they read our material to keep their communities informed of what the bad old orthodox Anglicans are up to. That's actually OK with us, though we wish God's grace might break through in something said or posted that might change their minds and hearts to align more closely with God's Word and God's heart."
It is certainly true that I read up on what Bishop Anderson and others on the AAC weekly bulletin have to allow, but I cannot honestly say that things here change my mind and heart to "align more closely with God's Word and God's heart." Then again that does not often happen with writers from the progressive left, save of course for the occasional radical tidbit from people like William Stringfellow. Oh well. God's Word and God's heart will just have to suffice in themselves as the instruments of unity with the Source of all Creation.
No, David Anderson, I read the weekly AAC message to get a sense of what you and yours are thinking. So I found it most interesting that in this week's message The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, J.D.,
Chief Operating and Development Office had this to say:
"The ACNA Governance Task Force gathered again to review our Constitution and Canons, now that we have had some time to "live into them" since their ratification in Bedford, Texas, in June of 2009. We reviewed the realignment of North American Anglicanism in the light of Acts 15 - like the Gentile Christians, we too are a movement "outside" the existing recognized structures of the "synagogue." Like the Gentiles, we have been approached by certain leaders and asked to conform our governance to the laws of the institution in order to be properly recognized as brothers and sisters in Christ. (In our case, it is Canterbury and its party asking us to be "circumcised" by the "purported" schedule of requirements for a new Anglican Province, administered by the Anglican Consultative Council rather than by the Primates). " (I have put in bold the interesting part of this posting.)
So... AAC claims that the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or he himself, or "its party" (whatever that means) has asked the Anglican Church in North America to "conform" its governance to the laws of the institution (the Anglican Consultative Council). ACNA seems to view this as a purity code thing, a kind of circumcision party demand.
Aside from all the tom-foolery of the imagery, the sense here is that Canterbury or some wider "office" of the Anglican Communion has approached the ACNA with some demands. No where here is there any sense that ACNA approached the ACC with a desire to be recognized.
If, and it is a big if...if Canterbury or "its party" in fact initiated the asking, it would seem to mean that the ACC or Canterbury or someone out there in Anglican Land is inviting ACNA to apply. If that is true, shame on Canterbury or the ACC or whoever. If it is otherwise, that ACNA has made an initial request to join, then the ACC response is quite in order, and Ashey has deliberately misspoken, twisting the matter to make it look like the ACC is demanding, rather that ACNA requesting. In which case shame on them.
Would Canterbury or "its party" care to respond to this? Is AAC telling the truth?