The Archbishop of Canterbury has responded to the declaration made by Conservative Anglican leaders in Jerusalem yesterday, who propose forming a council of bishops to provide an alternative to churches they say are preaching a 'false gospel' concerning homosexuality.
I believe that it is wrong to assume we are now so far apart that all those outside the GAFCON network are simply proclaiming another gospel. This is not the case; it is not the experience of millions of faithful and biblically focused Anglicans in every province. What is true is that, on all sides of our controversies, slogans, misrepresentations and caricatures abound. And they need to be challenged in the name of the respect and patience we owe to each other in Jesus Christ.
There is nothing more painful than the feeling that other Christians might be thinking that you do not love, respect and honour God and His Word because you believe passionately in an inclusive church and a ministry led by both men and women.
I do not believe that the Gospel, if not preached in a traditional, conservative way, is therefore not the real gospel. This is what has been implied by GAFCON.
I, like many Anglicans the world over, have few problems with the Jerusalem Declaration. It does, of course, mean I would have to do my homework, if ever I was asked to consider it. I want to find out more about the 39 articles and the canons, the ordinal and the original prayer book. Of course, I will have to look into these things, as I consider over the next few years a career in the C of E. All Anglicans should of course, be familiar with the doctrinal stance to which they're subscribing, else why be an Anglican, particularly. We must be in a minority of people, who because we have often been born into a faith, the faith of our country of birth, have often spent less time on the small print of the most important aspect of our lives, realising that we may have indeed dwelt for longer on the finer details of those finer aspects of our mortgage agreements.
It is time that I got my house in order and I don't mean by tidying it up and hanging out the washing. Having said that, I will never manage to get my spiritual house in order, I will be trying for the whole of my life and failing because of my sinfulness, preoccupations and prejudices. This is why it is sometimes with such a huge sense of relief, that I 'switch off the blog and go and do something less boring instead' (quote from TV theme tune of my youth). What a joy it can be to simply, pick-up, put away and stack the dishwasher! It's not long though before I'm back to my spiritual searches and quests to deepen my understanding and relationship with God and his beautiful, if rather, bruised Church. Being free in Christ, to be all you really can be, is really rather exhausting!