Friday, August 1, 2008

Southeast Asia, Northern Plains, tom-aa-to, tom-ah-to

Canon Terry Wong's editorial at the Global South site expresses the futility of the Lambeth Conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury's invitation-only gathering of Anglican bishops is bogged down in "process" and many-words-saying-nothing, as well as campy, media-hound homosexual activist displays. Lots of weepy calls for "patience" and "listening". The Anglican Communion is disintegrating as the bishops dither.

But my favorite part of Canon Wong's article is this:

(A former Episcopal priest) told me that he came to a point where ‘enough was enough.’ (The Episcopal Church) has become a different religion and he recounted those various Synod occasions where these signs were clearly exhibited and unashamedly. It came to a point where he needed to walk away and move on. There is only so much one can do (or take) in coping with things which are beyond one’s control. Of what use the (Archbishop of Canterbury's) presidential address will be for him? How long can one keep listening and empathizing?

For the rest of us, it will not be that easy. We will need to continue to live with that tear [TEC's 2003 consecration of a homosexual bishop] and tension (of relating to those of a ‘different religion’ - in Asia, we do this all the time being part of a minority religion...imagine having to face the same thing within the ‘refuge’ of the church!). It has to be managed. New relationships have to be formed (and they are forming), as the wounded body limps along, seeking to move on with the help of others.

It is hard enough to struggle on as a Christian among Buddhists, or Muslims, or in a secular environment. How much more painful when one's own church sells out and serves the political interests of non-Christians (and even anti-Christians).

But then I noticed a Bible memorization verse posted at the Church of Nigeria site. The verse this week is II Timothy 4:5, which reminds us that this kind of struggle is an expected part of Christian leadership:

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Jesus, help us to honor our calling.


Anonymous said...

canterbury led anglicanism is dead!

TLF+ said...

raphael - see the latest from Bishop Anderson. The weakness of Canterbury leadership seems to hasten the death.