Friday, September 04, 2009

"Peace Chief" or "War Chief"??? THAT is the question ... (this week from Schism Central, anyway)

Before I even post this, I can see the emails I'm going to get wondering why I give "them" the time of day/any "ink"/more attention than they deserve, etc. etc. etc.

Here's the answer before you write: (which will save you some time on this Labor Day Weekend to do something else more fun! :)

The work we are about is too important for us to ignore the energy that is being deployed to thwart it.

That said, here is this week's "update" from the American Anglican Council -- written by David Anderson ... a former clergy colleague of ours here in the Diocese of Los Angeles and a breakaway bishop.

For them this is "war" -- literally. And to win it they are ready, willing and working-on-being-able to throw the Archbishop out with the bathwater and reinvent the Anglican Communion in their own image.

OK -- back to your Labor Day Weekend plans. But DO bookmark this one for future reference. Believe me -- we haven't heard the last of this kind of militaristic rhetoric and the odds are VERY good that it will get much worse before it starts getting better!

==============

A Message from Bishop David Anderson

Beloved in Christ,

Long ago, in a time and a land that seems to have dissipated like the morning mist in the heat of the day, I read a church leadership book that spoke of two types of leaders for two different situations. It spoke of the difference between a "Peace Chief" and a "War Chief" and why each one was the right one in the appropriate setting, and how disastrous it was for the Church when they were in the opposite setting.

[This would be me, wondering who wrote the book that thought this kind imagery was congruent with the church that follow the "Prince of Peace," but let's move on.]

In looking at recent history of the 1930-1940 era in the United Kingdom (UK), we can see how Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who had sought peace through appeasement and containment, had to give way as a Peace Chief before the reality of war (declared 70 years ago this very week). Into that position stepped Winston Churchill, who was an eminent War Chief. He guided the UK through the most harrowing of times and on to victory. Then, in a time of sudden peace, he was moved aside and a Peace Chief took his place. A few years later, when the Korean War broke out, he was once again called to the premiership.

As with a nation, so does the church require an appropriate leader for the time and the circumstance. What do these days in the Anglican World Communion call for, a Peace Chief or a War Chief? I would argue that this present time requires a War Chief for the defense of the Gospel and the Anglican Communion.

[Here it comes.]
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Those Anglicans who are proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ are beset on several sides by those who hate the true Gospel: humanism and materialism attack from one side, militant Islam from another, and heretical distortions of the Christian message from still another. The church needs leaders who correctly perceive the clear and present danger, have a workable vision of how to go forward in this crisis, and the energy, willingness and focus to actually lead. Without this leadership, the Communion will move into chaos and the advantage will be ceded to those who would reshape the Gospel and the discipline of the historic faith.

[So now those of us who confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection and share in his eternal priesthood "hate the gospel" if we differ on issues of human sexuality? Honestly, David ...]

In the Anglican Communion family, the question is then personalized to the point of asking, does the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, have a clear perception of the present and imminent danger posed by the American Episcopal Church leadership? Does he have a workable vision of how to go forward such that the fall into chaos is averted? Does he have the willingness, energy and focus to lead the orthodox against the foes that the faith faces?

[Are these rhetorical questions?]

If we look at past performance, we see what appears to be appeasement and containment. After Dr Williams' recent visit to TEC's General Convention, his requests for restraint were thrown back at him as seen in the actions that the Convention took after he left. He has spoken of a two tier or two track status for those who can and cannot sign the someday-to-be-final Covenant.

But will anyone, including Dr. Williams, give those who are putting themselves on the lower tier the same official recognition and authority as the first tier?

[Nope. This isn't about power. Nosiree, Bob. Just about proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord and Savior who called us to walk in love with God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Oh ... and make sure we keep all the power and authority in the hands of the patriarchy!]
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If they show up at meetings and conferences anyway to play their "rightful" role, will he block them or limit their power to affect others? The probable answer, unfortunately, is no.

[Perhaps because maybe he's read the Epistle appointed for this Sunday ... "My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?"]

In the polite society wherein he dwells, if someone has embarrassed himself, he/she is expected to know it, and do the right thing and stay out of polite company. Certainly they are expected not to force their presence on others, embarrassing everyone by not knowing better.

[So how does Brother Anderson reconcile former members of the Episcopal Church turning up at our General Convention? Oh yes, I forgot. They're like "special agents who go behind the lines and blow things up." I guess that's a different thing. After all -- "this is war" not "polite society."]

Opposing Dr. Williams is Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the pronouncer of heresy on the historic faith, the Presiding Bishop of the competing Anglican Communion, who will assume that if she is in a tier or track, it will be the favored and most blessed one. The question for Dr. Williams is whether he is ready to be a "War Chief" in a time of war. Many believe he can be, but the decision is his. Please remember our Archbishop of Canterbury in your prayers.

[Yes, let's do. And let's pray for Brother David the same way Tevye prayed for the Czar in "Fiddler on the Roof": "My the Lord bless and keep the Czar ... far away from us!"]

Blessings and Peace in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council

11 comments:

IT said...

Susan, I hate to say it....

But i am starting to think these people aren't just cynical power mongers, but actually lunatics, with delusions of military grandeur to boot.

This is like those pictures of Christ hugging an AK-47 that pop up on Christianist web sites.

Amazing that a few fabulous gay people can hae such an effect.

Anglocat said...

Why am I reminded of Tom "Not a Wartime Consigliere" Hagen versus Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather"?

Bad Anglocat. Wicked, naughty Anglocat.

KJ said...

What fascinates me about such "rumblings" is that they seem to be devoid of Spirit-breathed peace and assume that human "effort" and a "few good men" (My words" are what is required: "The church needs leaders who correctly perceive the clear and present danger, have a workable vision of how to go forward in this crisis, and the energy, willingness and focus to actually lead."

Sounds like "works" and work to me. I'll take peace any day.

Lapinbizarre said...

"...with delusions of military grandeur to boot." You've got it, IT. Remember the remark by Philip Ashey, chief operating officer and chaplain of AAC, that "Like Special Forces, we go behind the scenes and we blow up things"? It's a male arrested development thing.

Bill Carroll said...

Anglocat,

You beat me to it. Rejecting Tom's advice didn't turn out so well for Sonny, did it?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I'm remembering that it was 'gonzo journalist' Dr. Hunter S. Thompson who said,

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Jim said...

As some of us keep saying, it is all about power. Truly, I think they would preach just about anything to be in the power they think their genitals should give them by right.

The love of God changed an empire not by having war leaders, not by blowing things up, not by fighting but by quietly making its case as it met in catacombs and private homes to celebrate Eucharist. No battles, no armies, no grand war leaders -- jut love, fogivness and the shared feast of the living, loving God. From which Mr. Anderson inter alia seem to have learned nothing.

I am unable to think these people are even marginally Christian. They have elevated their idol worship of their paper pope, which I think they do not actually read, to amazing levels. All of this for the maintenance of power that Jesus never had, nor wanted. All of Samuel's preaching against kings never got through did it?


FWIW
jimB

F. Harry Stowe said...

Errh, are these people even official Anglicans (in the Communion, that is)?

john said...

David Anderson is a tool.

Bailouts and Stimulus packages said...

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"

MarkBrunson said...

They aren't lunatics.

They are the manipulators, the instigators. They want power, they want RESPECT, they want control, so they work on those who have little control, those who have little insight or direction, who have much fear and little ability to deal with it, wind 'em up and set 'em loose.

Politicos call it "plausible deniability" - "I didn't say to actually hurt anybody! Where, in so many words, did I ever say to anybody that they should hurt anybody?!"