I got a packet of information in the mail from the AAC, which includes:
1 - "Equipping the Saints: A Crisis Resource fro Anglican Laity - 2nd Edition"
2 - "Moving Slowly With Caution Isn't Stopping: AAC Commentary on the Special Commission Report
3 - "The AAC's Profiles of the Presiding Bishop's Nominees"
Some fascinating things I didn't know before reading this information1. On the very first page, they "crow" about a reported 12% decrease in giving to the National Episcopal Church. One might be led to believe that this is a significant figure, until one recognizes that it is the AAC affiliated and Network churches which are the ones withholding money. Suddenly 12% doesn't seem as significant as it might.
2. They also "crow" about 200 churches which have disassociated from TEC since 2000, at least 100 of those since 2003. And, the reason for that would be ..........? (Do they really think people are unable to see through this? I suppose they really do. Really, really deep sigh.)
3. Their "Timeline of Significant Events" begins in 1966-67 (!) with the heresy charges brought against Bishop Pike who declared that, "the Church's classical way of stating what is represented by the doctrine of the Trinity is . . . not essential for the Christian faith." We then fast-forward, 10 years later, to the Consecration of John Shelby Spong as bishop of Newark and General Convention calling for a study/dialogue on sexuality and the ordination of homosexuals. Who knew that the doctrine of the Trinity, Jack Spong's consecration, and a study on sexuality and the ordination of LGBT people would be the epicenter of the ecclesiological earthquake which is causing the "split" in the church? (Note to those who think we need more dialogue and more study - by the AAC's own admission, we've been studying and talking about homosexuality for 30 years!! I feel like I'm in the middle of a Verizon commercial, "Can you hear me now?")
As you continue to read on, you recognize that they are absolutely right: it's really not about LGBT people, as has been the AAC's persistent claim.
It's really not even just a difference in the interpretation of scripture.
No, it's much, much more than that.
It really is about a form of evangelical Christianity which informs a theology and ecclesiology that has nothing to do with the spirit of classical Anglicanism. The deep irony is that they use the word "Anglican" - and even "Classical Anglican" to describe themselves. Amazing. Simply amazing.
4. Their "Summation" of the Windsor Report ends by saying, "The trajectory of the leadership of TEC remains on that very course of revisionism, and it seems nearly impossible that General Convention 2006 will change the course. We will continue to pray for a miracle, because only the truth sets us free." Well, there it is, then.
5. Their Summary of the Profiles of the Nominees for Presiding Bishop concludes: "No candidate has committed to uphold recommendations from TWR calling for moratoria on blessing SS Unions and consecration of non-celibate homosexuals. Each candidate has expressed, however, a commitment to unity - in most cases, unity at the expense of truth. Each candidate has expressed some degree of desire to remain connected to the Anglican Communion but not at the cost of autonomy." They do not - apparently cannot - endorse a single candidate. Well, and there you have it.
Nothing will satisfy this group but having their own way. Burger King Theology rules the day.
And they complain about "the autonomy of the revisionists."
Oh, BTW, that sound you hear is the distinct thud of tightly packed suitcases being closed. In 2003, after the vote to confirm +Gene Robinson's election, many of the AAC and FiFNA folks walked around with the biggest, fattest, darkest smudges of ashes in the middle of their foreheads. It was a very dramatic way to make a point.
Be prepared, if the vote on TWR doesn't go down exactly the way some want it, for a major, dramatic presentation. They are all set for a "live feed" of it - appropriately entitled, "Lent and
Beyond." Check out here -- A fairly pricey little project. Now we know where at least some of the 12% of the money to the National Church has been redirected.
If this is your first General Convention, and even it it's not, fasten your seat belts, kids and put on your crash helmet. Well funded with redirected money, underwritten by the IRD, and fueled with high test, industrial-strength vitriol, the AAC promises to put on quite a show.