Ephraim Radner is writing a good bit these days, sometimes for editors who take some considerable joy in giving his essays provocative titles, as in the Living Church's latest posting of his essay titled, "Actions Now Have Consequences." TLC seems to take some glee in the fact that actions have consequences, but does not seem to think that this has always been the case. But dear friends, actions always have consequences, and we all know that. The snotty title is just that, a poke in the eye. Of course actions have consequences. The embrace by realignment Anglicans of a defunct brand of American Christian idolatry disguised as evangelical Christianity and the use of that language to instill fear in Christians near and far will have its reward as well.
Letters apparently have gone out to The Episcopal Church participants in various Anglican ecumenical conversations that their status has been reduced to that of "consultant," what ever that means. So there are consequence, indeed. But other consequences will transpire as well, consequences for those churches that identify the specifics of sexual ethics as they appear in any culture with the ethics that derive from Christian faith. Too there will be consequences for those churches who have isolated the work of the Spirit to the higher authorities in the church and dismissed the work of the Spirit on the ground. Here in the world of consequences let it all be as it must - we will all indeed get our reward.
Here is how Wordel collected the primary words in Radner's "Actions Now Have Consequences."
Notice how Archbishops, bishops, covenant, communion and churches get major play? Councils and congregations get lesser play.
Radner's other essay of the past week, "Ten Years and a New Anglican Congregationalism" an article well worth the read, by the way, has a slightly different word accent.
Even with a title about congregationalism he has little use for congregational words... again Anglican, covenant, structures, communion, church get the big play. Far down the line are words like congregation. Nicely, "people" get decent mention.
Good that they do, for it turns out the people - the people gathered in this or that congregation - where love, community, parish, rector, and so forth take first place over Bishops and Archbishops and structure and such like - PEOPLE - do theology.
And I am pretty sure they know pretty well that actions have consequences, that they are indeed the congregation of the faithful every bit as much as some high toned Communion wide "congregation" of this or that ecumenical or Anglican Communion agency.
We eat our bread at table, and table is always here and now, and everywhere is Jerusalem and everywhere is precursor to our true home.
When they tell you actions have consequences, say, yeh..when we are one at our local table it changes everything.