IT'S TIME FOR "CLARITY AND TRUTH," AAC LEADER SAYS
By David W. Virtue with Auburn Traycik
COLUMBUS, OH: (6/15/2006)--The President of the American Anglican Council (AAC), Canon David Anderson, says there must be a full reconciliation and restoration for the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) based on truth, without fudge, or it's time for an "honest divorce."
"I'm tired of the Episcopal Church trying to compromise on things we cannot compromise...I'm tired of band-aids," he told a lunch briefing for those attending the 75th Episcopal General Convention in Columbus.
There has been enough talking, Anderson maintained. Those on either side of the divide could probably give each other's "talking points," they have heard them so often. "But there does come a point that we need to cut to the chase," to stop talking and act.
The conflict over sex, he said, is a "symptom" but not the "disease," which is rooted in such basic issues as the authority of Scripture, and whether Jesus Christ is the Savior or a savior.
"Jesus is uniquely the Son of God. Much of the Episcopal Church seems intent on headlong plunging into polytheism...But for Christians there aren't other choices [except for Jesus Christ], he said. "I can't follow the Episcopal Church if it wants to move out of historic Christianity."
He noted the admonition of the Rev. Susan Russell of Integrity the previous evening not to make clarity an "idol." He said he had no wish to do that, but that clarity "becomes very important" in the church's current situation. Either Jesus is Lord or He is not; He either told the truth about Himself or He is a liar and a fraud, he said.
In a perfect world, Anderson said that what he really wants is for ECUSA to do "a 180--to completely change its mind"; to "reaffirm the tenets of the Christian faith as embedded in the Anglican formularies," and "roll back" the mistakes of recent years.
That would be a miracle that the sovereign God could bring about, but statistically, is unlikely, he said.
Anderson said he was surprised to hear Pierre Whalon, the Bishop of the American Churches in Europe, say that "The Episcopal Church is a global church" and "must convince only the Archbishop of Canterbury, who commissioned the Lambeth Commission, that it is continuing in a process," and not the Bishop of Durham. (The reference is to a paper issued this week by Bishop N.T. Wright, who said the General Convention's Windsor-related resolutions did not go far enough as presently proposed). But Anderson said that ECUSA must also convince 38 primates, whose role has clearly been increasing in recent years.
"They have asked the Episcopal Church some hard questions and now we have come to a point where most of us would like to have clarity." That, he said, will enable conservative Episcopalians to return home and discern what comes next.
"Seek clarity; seek the truth," he said.
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