Thursday’s question

In considering the response that the Episcopal Church should make to the recommendations from the Primates of the Angilcan Communion, I find that my thinking shifts depending on the goal I have in mind.

If our concern is to remain within the Communion, it may well be necessary to accept the Primates’ recommendations, and to be willing to live with the restrictions therein for as long as most of us are alive. (My reasons for thinking the “new consensus” on homosexual relationships will not emerge any time soon are best saved for another post.)

If our concern is to evangelize the country in which most of us live, then I think it may be necessary to respectfully decline the recommendations and be willing to face the consequences. I don’t think our Church will appeal to conservatives because we have not changed our minds about homosexuality, we’ve only agreed to bide our time in pursuing the goal of full inclusion. But having agreed, under international pressure, to pull back from the pursuit of that goal, we can hardly expect liberal thinking people to rally to our banner either. And I think the numbers of people willing to get out of bed on a Sunday morning to attend a Church that defines its charism as “facilitating the conversation” are probably rather small.

My sense, then, is that it will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to remain in the Communion and do effective evangelism. At the very least, giving top priority to one is likely to have a negative impact on our ability to do the other.

Do you agree that we have to make a choice? And if so, how should we make it?

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