Saturday, February 22, 2014
Defragging the Anglican Church
I've recently added Bishop Chandler Jones' blog to my blogroll. To have not done so until now is quite an appalling oversight on my part as I've often enjoyed his blogging. Recently, he has reported on the Working group to reconcile the APA and the ACA. This is certainly very very needed and if it takes place then, at last, we can see visible signs that the genius of Anglicanism is clambering out from beneath the ruins caused by unnecessary and heretical revisionism to take its place among legitimate Orthodox Christianity.
I am minded of the many hours I have spent watching my former PC "defragging". This seemed to take the form of an incredibly long list of coloured squares scrambled about, representing (somehow) the state of the computer's memory. The coloured squares would somehow be grouped together and this would somehow make the computer more efficient. Of course, not being an expert in computing this is the very limit of my understanding in the matter. Whatever it really did, defragmentation was certainly a desirable thing for the computer.
It seems that the dust is beginning to settle now after the Episcopal Church broke away from the Catholic Faith, sadly followed by the CofE. 2017 will see the fortieth anniversary of the Congress of St Louis, and this is a minuscule amount of time in the life of God's Church. Thus, any bridging of the gaps that have led to the fracture of Anglicanism will be of enormous value.
The genius of Anglicanism does mean that there is absolutely no need for the different Anglican jurisdictions to merge formally. There does not need to be one primate metropolitan overseeing the entirety of Anglican jurisdictions provided that there is both a general and particular commitment by each bishop to this Orthodox Anglican Communion which is not new but continues from where the rest of the Anglican Communion broke away.
Once the legal instruments are put in place, we will then find ourselves with a process by which we can begin to gather up the fragments.and put them in a place where they will not only flourish, but preach the gospel with a more harmonious voice. Such mechanisms have the potential to be self-replicating and self-repairing if looked after properly. This very much does mirror the defrag of a computer. One does have to be very careful with all computer systems as the possibility of chaotic behaviour can result. My hope is that the actual chaos is over and, like Langton's Ant, the bridge-building can begin and a highway through the desert can be built.
Of course, this is all the vision of an idealist. We still have to combat human nature and the strange vicissitudes of politics and passion. There is much hope out there which the first continuing Anglicans saw. May we follow that hope more carefully!