Falling off the fence

One of my father’s consistent gripes about the Episcopal Church–a gripe usually made specifically about our Rector at Bethesda–is that its ministers rode the fence too hard, never took a stand on anything, etc.  That "strategy" (if it can be dignified by that name) lost TEC many members, but it also won it a few who didn’t like a religion which took too many definite stands (or thought they were above such things.)

Unfortunately the chickens have come home to roost for Rowan Williams, as Andrew Brown tells us in "Falling off the fence."  He is in a position where he has a chasm too deep for bridge piers and too wide for a single span.  Fence riding was a loser from the start and now alienates more people on both sides than it attracts.

At this point clarity would be his best bet.  Unfortunately for reasserters, the only open clarity CoE can have in the immediate future is broad-based reappraising.  That’s because the British government, irrespective of how the establishment issue works itself out, will not tolerate a church that does not meet its ideas of inclusion, especially one as large and well propertied as CoE.  Evangelicals in CoE can protest all they want but this is the present reality in the UK.  (Tolerating mosques with a different idea is, of course, another matter altogether.)

The Global South may want an orthodox Anglican Communion, but it would be simpler if they would put together an Anglican Communion without the CoE and move on.

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