Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shrill cries for centralization

There are increasingly shrill cries for a centralized authority over the Churches of the Anglican Communion.  Some are now claiming that there is such crisis in the Communion that the only possible resolution is in granting the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting a ‘Conciliar authority,’ although no one can say who it is that would or could, under Anglican polity, grant such authority.  These arguments are claimed to be rooted in the principle of ‘What affects all, should be decided by all.’  These arguments are based on two premises, one of which is false and one of which is faulty. 

The assumption that the Anglican Communion is in crisis is false.  Only those who have a craven lust for power view the state of affairs in the Communion as dangerously critical.  In reality, there is no crisis.  On the other hand, views such as these do indeed threaten to create one.  If people begin to accept the premise that the Anglican Communion (read: 'the Anglican Church') is in crisis, then people may in fact choose to accede the authority that God has entrusted to them as faithful protestants.  In that case, the Communion would indeed enter a crisis, a critical destruction of the virtues of autonomy and autocephaly that the Communion has represented since its emergence in the late 1800's. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2 Advent B - 7 December 2008

2 Advent B - 7 December 2008
Isaiah 40:1-11; 2Peter 3:8-15a, 18; Mark 1:1-8
James V. Stockton

The hard times are over. I know it’s difficult to believe. The daily news cycle reminds us that the jobless rate in our nation is the highest it’s been in over thirty years. The stock markets nationally and globally continue to cost millions of people millions of dollars. Major industries, major state governments, scores of large city governments, and hundred of banks and financial institutions are forming a line to the Capital Building in Washington D.C. to plead for government bail out money.

Some people will suggest that we all relax because the economy is correcting itself in ways that have been foreseeable and are unavoidable due to the effects or the failures of certain government policies. Others will suggest that this is exactly the time to bring the panic and some accountability to those who indulged regulations and loopholes for quick profit and gain with little regard for the longer-range consequences to the people of this nation and this world as a whole. Some will say that both are true. Few, though, if any, are saying that the time of hardship is coming to a close. I would like the Church to take the lead in declaring that the Good News that the hard times are ending, that amazing and wonderful things lie ahead for us all.