Here is are my thoughts as I processed what we talked about at our table during the clergy day.
I believe that I have had some progressive revelation about this matter and have shared some of it with you and some directly with Fred. One more recent though that I just had this morning is around “Scripture, Reason, and Tradition” Why is it not “Scripture, Spirit and Reason” Herein we may find our problem. If we are excluding the work of the spirit in discerning the way forward, it is no wonder that we are stuck. I believe any thinking anglican understands that we are at an impasse that can’t be overcome by human wisdom. I submit the following that I believe might be a pathway to receiving some revelation and wisdom from the Lord.
That we recognize the grace of what happened in the last general synod; in that both sides experienced both a win and a loss. How often has a motion with such emotional magnitude been overturned by a recount. While most commentators have termed this a devastating turn of events, I not so sure. My opinion is that this is nothing other than the grace of God. Because of this experience, both the Yea’s and Nay’s have experienced exultant victory and devastating defeat. In other words everyone knows how everyone else might feel. The consensus is however that is twas an error and we simply move on from it. My assertion is that thought this may well have been human error it was used by the God to make a point. The point is “Do not use legislative means to address doctrine or matters of major change in the church” We have all read the story in acts by which the 11 remaining apostles made the choice for the new 12th apostle. The set some parameters and then they prayed, then they drew lots! There are of course instances where it was the “teaching” of the apostles or elders that decided matters. I really do not believe that voting on matters of this divisive weight has any business in our body.
We should press in to the heart of god and ask what does this mean. If any of you lack wisdom he should ask God! We all know this verse, but I fail to see that this has been done. We seem to be relying on human wisdom and social engineering to get this issue sorted. There must be a better way. I call on the church to confess failure and ask for the mercy of God to help us maintain unity with Christ. Surely there is work we can do in this area that will take our minds off these works of the flesh.
Could it mean that we should step back from from legislation as a means to move forward My suggestion that I have made to you and the primate remains. Remove the Cannon on Marriage completely. Many other things are decided in the church by Bishops directives and by proper discernment. We need more help from the Spirit and we are blocking that by using voting to make decisions. What would be the effect of removing the canon (how many n’s in canon?) on marriage. Is there a way that we can “walk this thing back” It is a bit like cornering a Grizzly bear…. You are not going to be able to talk your way through this one!
Shift our focus to the highest best things to be doing in the kingdom. Ie. love the lord your god with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. If we spent our time doing the do’s then we would not have the attention span to give to these areas that bring so much conflict.
Rector of Renforth