Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rowan Williams and the Primates Meeting: The Falling Action

Fr. Dale Matson
This Primates meeting was a tragic example of the small portion of the World Wide Anglican Communion willing to publicly call Rowan Williams their Archbishop. His invitations, once the symbol of inclusion, no longer have the power to beckon Primates or legitimize membership in Anglicanism. Canterbury Anglicanism has now become a questionable pedigree. More and more it appears to be political and a vestige of a bygone colonial era. The selection process itself has played a role in this. Increasingly Canterbury is being swallowed up by and is simply reacting to the cultural changes of postmodern Europe. Perhaps some of this has always been the case. When the Anglican Communion is not a Communion in the Spirit the carnal structure is made manifest.

Instead of being the Archbishop of the WWAC Rowan Williams has marginalized himself to the extent that he has revealed himself to be foremost, a liberal agendist willing to allow the tail to wag the dog. His concerns and comments are myopic, political, worldly and tailored to impress and placate the liberal media. His proclamations were like Rorschach ink blots that provided pundits opportunities to waste more ink and bytes. His communications to his people have been lengthy, confusing and offered false hope to those of us who looked to him to provide a line that could not be crossed. The Anglican Covenant became the Maginot line. Many good moderates were coopted and misplaced their hopes there.

He has made himself into a smaller man than he was when he initially became the Archbishop of Canterbury. In attempting to represent the Communion, he has failed to defend the faith once delivered. He has ignored the context of the orthodox voices of church tradition and leaders of the other great Christian denominations. He has squandered the good will and devotion of the Global South and the trust of the conservatives in the Communion. He was not the Archbishop for our time because he represented a vocal minority and covertly manipulated and thwarted the other instruments of unity to advance the revisionist agenda. Most of all he has lacked the judgment to step down from an office he was never equipped to hold. I say this in past tense because while he is still physically the ABC, he is no longer the leader of the Communion. These words are not spoken in anger because his term as ABC has brought greater clarity in a Communion with irreconcilable differences. There can only be one Gospel in the church of Christ.

Lord, I ask that you bring forth a man for our beloved Communion that will speak Your words to us. May he have the courage of David and the Wisdom of Solomon. May he be filled with your Holy Spirit and willing to speak the truth to the spirit of this age. May he offer hope to those he leads and the name of Christ, the only name, to those who are perishing. May he wield the sword of the Spirit in one hand and a shepherd’s staff in the other in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

1 comment:

Allen Lewis said...

Thank you, Dale Matson, for pointing out why the Erastian foundation of the Anglican Church in England has outlived its usefullness.

The office of Archbishop of Canterbury has now been reduced to being a political one rather than a spiritual one.

Allegiance to the Zeitgeist is more of a qualification than allegiance to Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

Veriword: hunte