Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anglican Wars

Goya, Duel With Cudgels, ca 1820-1823

I think that the warfare in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion will end the same way that the Reformation/ Counter-Reformation ended, in perpetual stalemate. After almost 2 centuries of bloody warfare all over Europe, the wars ended because people got tired of fighting. Nothing was resolved. The Defenders of Holy Mother Church did not succeed in stamping out the Heresy. God's Chosen Elect did not vanquish the forces of the Roman AntiChrist. And here we are today in a secular world of religious pluralism, the Defenders of the Faith long ago replaced by constitutional social contracts.

I anticipate a similar end to the fighting in the Anglican Communion. We will simply get tired of fighting, excommunicate each other, declare victory, and go home. There will be no resolution. At best there will be some kind of grudging modus vivendi. I think this will all end in a kind of Lutheran stalemate with 2 or 3 or more parallel "Anglican" communions, none of them recognizing each other, or speaking with one another. About the only thing they will have in common is some kind of use of some version of the Book of Common Prayer.

I have skin in this fight. I'm not willing to fall on a sword for the sake of "peace." I agree with Dr. King when he said that peace is more than the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.

However, there are days when I think that the whole of Christendom is like what an Israeli friend said about modern Jerusalem, a city full of people absolutely convinced that all of their neighbors are going to hell.

"No kingdom is more given to civil war than that of the Prince of Peace" --Montesquieu


Grandmère Mimi said...

Counterlight, I believe you are right. I don't see reconciliation in the future. The saddest, but truest words of all are from Montesquieu.

Many folks are concerned that the Episcopal church will be smaller, but that should not matter, so long as we "do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with [our] God".

Davis said...

Mimi, I couldn't agree more and I pray those other folk who seem so very unhappy with us do the same.

Counterlight said...

Grandmere, i believe that you are right.
That's why I stand by this church.

I also stand by it because it stands by me, and has taken some bad hits for doing so.