March 22, 2017

February 11, 2010


Some requests and notes about the Synod vote

Five quick notes prefaced by some requests:

Requests: Please Read The Resolution. Do exegesis; not isogesis. Please resist the temptation to read your wishes and desires into the text.

1. The motion does not “affirm” the ACNA.

2. The motion does not “affirm” that the ACNA is part of the Anglican Communion.

3. The motion “affirms” a “desire” . Translation: Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.

4. The motion does not refer to the ACNA as a whole but to the desire of “those who formed” the ACNA.

5. The motion does not affirm the desire of “those who formed the ACNA” to remain in “the Anglican Communion”, but rather, it affirms their desire to remain a part of the Anglican “family”. Arguably, anyone who prays with a prayerbook and wears a robe of some kind could be considered a member of the “Anglican Family”


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68 comments

A timely admonition, Matt+.

Not only do we have some isogesis around here, but wishful isogesis.

[1] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 2-11-2010 at 09:52 AM · [top]

When I first read it I thought it was just another kick the can.  When I read the comments I thought I missed something.  I go back to my original impression.  I’ll extend your analogy -

Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.  I’ll go talk to my dad about it and I’ll get back to you later.  How much later?  We’ll see.

The ACNA has been blown off.

[2] Posted by JustOneVoice on 2-11-2010 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Excellent analysis, Matt+. It’s a little scary that quite a few people missed the implications of the thing. I guess it’s a triumph of hope over experince to believe that this “affirmation” is actually a good thing. It’s as though I said I want a million dollars, and you said to me, “I affirm that you want a million dollars.”

[3] Posted by Nellie on 2-11-2010 at 10:18 AM · [top]

I still don’t know what “those who formed the ACNA” refers to.  Does it refer to specific individuals such as Robert Duncan and Don Harvey?  Or does it refer to organizations that came together to constitute the ACNA such as REC, CANA, AMIA, ANiC, etc.?  Or does it refer to the members of the Common Cause Leadership Council who ratified the ACNA Constitution?  Or is it the 100,000 purported members of ACNA congregations?  Or ... or ... etc. ad nauseum.  You get the picture.  Just who does “those who formed the ACNA” refer to???  If nobody knows the answer to that question, or if everybody has a different answer (after all, we are Anglicans), then this CoE Synod resolution is pure gooey happy fluff.

[4] Posted by Chazaq on 2-11-2010 at 10:37 AM · [top]

Matt is correct in the sense that, if you’re defining success entirely by the goal of provincial recognition and the extent to which the resolution furthered that goal, then the resolution was a failure.

If, however, you’re open to considering the value of the process surrounding the resolution, not just the resolution itself, then I think Michael Howell has a pretty good take. Whether or not you count the resolution itself as a “win” for the ACNA, the process surrounding it was very definitely a loss for TEC, and that makes me happy enough.

[5] Posted by Greg Griffith on 2-11-2010 at 10:39 AM · [top]

Translation: Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.

.  .  .  .  .

Arguably, anyone who prays with a prayerbook and wears a robe of some kind could be considered a member of the “Anglican Family”

Matt, if you don’t want others to do isogesis (reading things into it), then perhaps you should also have stopped with just giving us the facts, the words.

[6] Posted by hanks on 2-11-2010 at 10:51 AM · [top]

Greg (#5),

I wholeheartedly agree with you.  This Synod resolution may be much less than some of us in the ACNA would like or were hoping for, but OTOH it’s certainly more positive than TEC and many liberals elsewhere would like.  I think it’s a question of momentum.  How far will the move toward full recognition of the ACNA go?

At this point, it’s still anyone’s guess.

David Handy+

[7] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 2-11-2010 at 10:54 AM · [top]

open to considering the value of the process

Oh, man, we are chuggin’ the Kool-Aid now.  Have our senses been so dulled over the past 7 years that we are soothed by process?  I guess if we set low standards and fail to achieve them, we can at least lie back and enjoy the process.

With apologies to the Kraft Foods Company (NYSE: KFT), manufacturers of Kool-Aid, a fine product.

[8] Posted by Chazaq on 2-11-2010 at 11:06 AM · [top]

I agree with Greg as well.  The Church of England in their synod debated this motion for several hours.  Think about that for a moment.  This was important to them.  Their relationship to the ACNA matters to them.  If the Synod wanted to blow off the ACNA or be patronizing, they could have done that in very little time.  That was not the will of the Synod.

Debates of this nature in TEC do not occur.  Motions are perfected before being debated.  In a more robust synod, motions take on life on the fly.  I think we need to be careful in our “exegesis” to be humble about what we can read and not overburden the text with too close a scrutiny.  I remember being struck by something N. T. Wright wrote about the lack of hubris in source theory when he critiqued those who too narrowly distinguish the various Gospel writer’s theology based on textual differences.  He skewered the practice by reminding his readers that Jesus was an itinerant preacher and just maybe the various Gospel writers were recalling different versions of what he said.

I think that those on the ground are correct in being thankful to the Synod for this motion.

[9] Posted by Ed McNeill on 2-11-2010 at 11:18 AM · [top]

3. The motion “affirms” a “desire” . Translation: Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.

We must be charitable and assume that this is not the case.  It would have been hypocritical to affirm the desire of the ACNA, without designating why it affirms this desire, without this desire being its own desire as well.

Otherwise it would be like saying, “well you better as well desire that, yes!  But it’s NOT up to you to say whether you can or not!!!”

The resolution, if it is not farcically hypocritical, implies the same desire on the part of the body passing the resolution.

There was also an amendment to remove this word “affirm” by a gay gentleman, who in a very eloquent statement, requested that his amendment be withdrawn.  We can therefore conclude that this word “affirm” is quite conscious, and was also consciously weighed by the whole assembly present.

[10] Posted by Wilf on 2-11-2010 at 11:25 AM · [top]

Chazaq,

By “process” I don’t mean parliamentary mechanics, but the things Michael refers to in the comment I linked.

[11] Posted by Greg Griffith on 2-11-2010 at 11:44 AM · [top]

Relating to Point #5:
Many years ago with the Navy, I attended chapel on a Sunday at an overseas location, and the Senior Chaplain was a Southern Baptist.  To my amazement, he celebrated the 1928 Holy Communion apparently from memory as I could not see a book. 

How many of us could do that, I wonder?

[12] Posted by BravoZulu on 2-11-2010 at 11:44 AM · [top]

All of Fr. Matt’s points are well taken and undoubtedly correct.  However, I think it remains true that what the resolution does not say is also vitally important.  Imagine the desired outcome for TEC, which would have read something like:
The Church of England will not consider communion relationship with any religious organization whose leadership has been deposed by the legitimate and recognized Anglican province having jurisdiction.

or words to that effect.
While the resolution as passed does not actually address the issues, and indeed reduces “communion”- if ever achieved- to a bureaucratic relationship, it does not preclude the development of a closer relationship.  What strikes me as the correct response would be a polite acceptance of the resolution by the next ACNA assembly or HoB meeting, along with their own resolution inviting closer ties with the CoE.  Might not hurt to invite a “middle of the road” CoE bishop to address the Assembly. 

And the next round will be played on the Global South’s home field.  Be interesting to see if KJS can find anyone committed to Lambeth 1.10 (the requirement for entry) to distribute her talking points for her.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-11-2010 at 11:57 AM · [top]

#5 Greg. No, it is not a loss for TEC or a win for ACNA.

#94 - Michael Howell - I am glad that the ACNA sees it as a positive development.
On your point #1 - I find it incredulous that Communion Partners do not know what is occurring. If that is the case, then both the Global South Primates and those who made appeals to the ABC or ACC, as well as contributed to WR and DES have not been believed. I have to doubt that ACNA being on the outside (and make no mistake - you are) will carry more credibility. To be ignorant is no excuse. The only plausible explanation is wanton indifference.

If the CofE was moved to believe what was presented, then why not move to action? Sounds to me like folks on behalf of ACNA played your hand and were trumped. SSDD.

[14] Posted by Festivus on 2-11-2010 at 01:41 PM · [top]

Had the original motion passed, it would not have done any more than express the desire of a majority of Synod to be in communion with ACNA.  One “positive” in the resolution that was adopted though, is that it recognizes the “division” in the churches in North America.  TEC has spent millions on lawsuts in Va. arguing there has been no division and here is the Synod of the “mother church” affirming that in fact, such a division has taken place.

[15] Posted by DaveG on 2-11-2010 at 01:54 PM · [top]

I agree with Fr. Matt.  This is much ado about nothing.  The ABC, the AC and the CoE will continue with process and DO absolutely nothing.  If this was a win for the ACNA then George Custer had a triumpth over the Soux.

[16] Posted by Br. Michael on 2-11-2010 at 02:27 PM · [top]

It seems to me that the Synod did not want to blow off the ACNA nor to embrace them at this time.  Those hoping for either of those results are disappointed.  There is room for both optimism and pessimism in the statement, both for those who support ACNA and for those who oppose ACNA.  If you’re an ACNA supporter and you weren’t looking for too much (like me), the vote should give you some hope.

[17] Posted by DFS on 2-11-2010 at 03:49 PM · [top]

Speaking in other symbols—could this event with S. Carolina be a perturbation point?

If I remember history I might use the Easter Uprising in Ireland as an example: The people never organized or demonstrated against the occupation government. A small group of rebels took over the post office and fought the army/police. At that point the people were against the rebels, or at least did not support them. But, then when the rebels were hung without due process—that was the moment when the Irish people rebelled and began to organize.  The perturbation point. Maybe it is just enough to say that S. Carolina may be one step too far over the line!

[18] Posted by lost on 2-11-2010 at 03:50 PM · [top]

Bro Matt,
I agree completely with you.. this has been my hesitancy from the moment I read the amendment.. It didn’t affirm anything.
Would have been nice to have read ” We accept ACNA as part of the AC…......”
Now that would have meant something.
Brian+

[19] Posted by Brian on 2-11-2010 at 03:53 PM · [top]

I agree with Greg and Dr. Michael Howell.

[20] Posted by Creighton+ on 2-11-2010 at 04:21 PM · [top]

ABUSE: 

When we look at the behaviors, or rather the pattern of behavior, that the legal system uses to define abuse we see that ABC and BPKJS have fulfilled all the requirements.
1. They tried to separate the victim from their supporters and close ties.
2. They never miss a moment to make the victim feel small and dirty—unworthy.
3. They increase the physical punishment at each event, or act of rebellion from the  
    victim
4. They grow more confident and in doing so offer smaller and smaller rewards for docile obedience (which they demand).

I dunno folks does this look familiar to you?

[21] Posted by lost on 2-11-2010 at 04:56 PM · [top]

Matt,

Respectfully, your analysis above commits exactly the same error which you say you were trying to avoid.

You cannot analyse this motion as though it was something passed by GC of TEC (or rather you can, but your conclusions will almost certainly miss the mark).

[22] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 05:42 PM · [top]

My apologies, I hit the send button too soon in #22 above, makes it look more critical than intended.

I do think that the motion was at best a mixed result, but that is because I view this particular battle as being far more about CofE than ACNA.

Put it this way, if Lorna Ashworth’s original motion had been passed, who would benefit? ACNA already has recognition from most of the communion, what would CofE add to that? Something, I agree, but not a lot.

Whereas the orthodox in CofE are facing the same battle as the stayers in TEC. This would have been a huge result for them (i.e. for CofE) if Lorna’s original motion had passed, and it was still pretty good that this one passed, considering the iron grip that the liberals appear to have had on the processes of CofE in recent times.

In that respect I think the battle for CofE should be important to ACNA, as it should be important to all orthodox. We don’t want to just sit secure in our little orthodox castles, rather we want to win back the whole Communion from liberal apostasy, and CofE has always been an important part of the communion.

[23] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 05:59 PM · [top]

I am no expert when it comes to exegesis, but I do know a thing or two about how words communicate meaning.

It is possible to understand the words of a passage and the grammar of the passage and still misunderstand the meaning of the passage if one does not understand the tone of the passage.

It seems to me that the tone of this resolution is unambigously positive towards the ACNA.  The resolution could have chosen a negative tone, or even a neutral one, but instead it chose an affirmative tone.  I think that we will miss the meaning of the resolution if we do not read the connotation of the words in the passage. Let’s consider this seriously, lest those of us in the ACNA come across as petulant schoolchildren who are constantly saying, “Unless you give us what we want, when we want, in the manner that we want, we’ll take all our toys and go somewhere else.”

I think that when we speak of this resolution, we might consider using the same tone as the one in which it was written: reserved affirmation. Now is not the time for us to jump for joy and claim victory, but nor is it the time for us to pout and complain.

Let me take the time to express my own reserved gratitude for the Synod’s resolution. I appreciate their taking the time to debate this issue seriously and thoughtfully, and I appreciate their willingness to “affirm” my “desires” and not capitulate to everything that The Episcopal Church dictates.

[24] Posted by selah on 2-11-2010 at 06:13 PM · [top]

Are we so desperate for affirmation, or insecure in our cause, that we cling to the thinnest thread, such as the fact that the Synod debated politely before voting to approve the (negative) amendment, or speculation that the Queen is privately displeased at the ABC, as a basis for celebration?

If the future of the ACNA hinges on whether its churches are able claim “Anglican Communion” on the bottom of their signs, then it is already doomed. The ACNA is very unlikely to become part of a Canterbury-led Communion, and it is very unlikely that the COE as currently constituted will ever vote to affirm full communion with the ACNA.  We need to get over it. If that is so important, we should have stayed in TEC.

I did not join the ACNA to be like Rhett Butler joining the Confederacy at the end of the war, romantically attracted to a lost cause. I joined the ACNA because I felt God was using this historic opportunity for the creation of a new church, one that melded the best from historic Anglicanism with a renewed spirit of evangelism and commitment. I am excited to be part of a group that is largely composed of individuals that have demonstrated a willingness to risk all of their church assets, and to worship if need be in auditoriums or storefronts; to give till it hurts to fund new construction and outreach; and to reach out aggressively to serve as the Lord’s arms and legs to bring new souls into the Kingdom.  I am excited to be part of a group that is willing to give up a cherished connection to the Archibishop of Canterbury for something much more important.

[25] Posted by Going Home on 2-11-2010 at 06:51 PM · [top]

Reading the two current threads on this CoE resolution, it strikes me forcibly how little those who do not now belong to that Church, or never have, understand about its essential conservatism. Change is always very slow and deliberate; the insularity factor is if possible higher than that in the USA.

Insular people (which we all are by nature) make many assumptions about ‘outsiders’, and cling to stereotypes that simplify the ‘outside’ world. Even when very highly educated, members of the CoE cannot be assumed to be highly educated about Anglicans ‘abroad’. They may, for instance, assume that American and Canadian bishops are appointed, just as N. Americans assume that English, or British, bishops are elected.

[26] Posted by Dr. Priscilla Turner on 2-11-2010 at 06:54 PM · [top]

Reflecting upon what Dr. Turner has to say above, a certain amount of the difficulty many on both sides of the Atlantic- ACNA on our side interpreting what this means, and the English I think in some cases seeing us as being rather rude in our acceptance (or lack thereof) has to do with “being separated by a common language.”  The issue here is more in how we say things, and how we ask questions.
Earlier today, a friend from England emailed me to say that he found much of the commentary he was reading on the (US) blogs very rude. Here the Synod had gone to the trouble to debate the motion, had reworded it to better reflect the reality of how things work over there (as has been pointed out, the question of “full communion” actually rests with the Archbishops, canonically) and thought they were sending us a cheery message, and here was everyone slighting it.
My almost kneejerk reaction (which thankfully I controlled before responding) was- It was a yes or no question (either we are in communion or we are not), and from my point of view, it was rather rude to give a “nuanced” answer after all we had been through.
So I think it quite important to examine the motives of those who supported the amended resolution.  Had they intended to shut us out, that was easily in their power.  All they had to do was recognize, formally, the deposition of +Bob Duncan, and, ipso facto, no communion. They made the choice not to do that. In fact, as has been pointed out, they debated parts of this word by word, and it is clear they intentionally chose words that would be supportive.
So, until a Church of England bishop tells me otherwise, I am going to view this as an act with a positive intent.  It seems that this is the case of those ACNA representatives actually present for the debate.  It is up to us to respond positively. Removing ourselves from TEC was a necessity.  Removing ourselves from the Anglican Communion is not.  Let us consider carefully, pray for, and listen to the leaders of the Global South at their council in April.  The Episcopal Church tore the Anglican Communion apart.  We can add another tear, or we can work to try to help with the repairs.

[27] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-11-2010 at 07:28 PM · [top]

I second what tjmcmahon wrote.

TJMcmahon always writes what I think….a few minutes before I think it smile

[28] Posted by selah on 2-11-2010 at 07:36 PM · [top]

Amen, #25, 26 and 27 (and by definition #28!), 
I hope that those in ACNA will take this opportunity to form positive relationships with orthodox in the CofE, even if its just on blogs.

Earlier today, a friend from England emailed me to say that he found much of the commentary he was reading on the (US) blogs very rude. Here the Synod had gone to the trouble to debate the motion, had reworded it to better reflect the reality of how things work over there (as has been pointed out, the question of “full communion” actually rests with the Archbishops, canonically) and thought they were sending us a cheery message, and here was everyone slighting it.

Part of the problem has been very negative comments from those who are not part of ACNA, but who insist on casting this in the worst light possible.

Let’s hope that their rudeness does not send the wrong message to those in England who are potential allies for ACNA.

[29] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 07:54 PM · [top]

Matt, with all due respect, I think your position on this development is both in error and is based on faulty analysis.  Selah, in #24, should be carefully read and taken seriously.  Semantics is not a new field.  It is however one that should be carefully considered before taking a position on what the C of E apparently adopted, the first part of which I understand to be:

“This Synod, aware of the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada, recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family…”

However you interpret this statement, you must see it as both anguished and sympathetic.  It starts by considering ‘divisions within’.  Semantically this sets a context of ‘continued acceptance’ or ‘inclusion’.  There is no sense of dealing with ACNA as having ‘left our fold’.  In other words, even before coming to their introduction of the words ‘affirm the desire’, they have already used the powerful word ‘within’.

This must cause considerable consternation to TEC.  It should give us some small hope and joy that there were a majority of people at the synod meeting who feel that this is a ‘division within’ and that it is a good thing to recognize and affirm the minor part of that division by considering them to be ‘within’ and to affirm their desires.

I hope you will grow to see it as a positive development, though perhaps short of what you had desired.

[30] Posted by CanaAnglican on 2-11-2010 at 07:59 PM · [top]

friends.,

1. The idea that recognizing this motion for what it is, a flat loss, is somehow insulting to those who fought for something better is absurd.

2. My exegesis is quite clear and correct. You may not like the “translations” I added or conclusions I draw from it…but the exegesis itself is quite plain and clear and I stand by it.

The idea that this is somehow a win or a positive outcome for the ACNA is either wishful thinking or spin and I won’t have any part of either.

[31] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-11-2010 at 08:21 PM · [top]

“Part of the problem has been very negative comments from those who are not part of ACNA, but who insist on casting this in the worst light possible.”
Michael, that is indeed true.  And it cuts both ways.  Many of the posters on more liberal blogs are social activists who have not set foot in a church in 30 years.  Although this should not excuse one cardinal sin of some blogs (not Stand Firm that I can ever remember) which is to quote a comment from some blog as if it represented the opinion of the blog owners, the opinion of (in our case) any church attended by the blogger.  But I have several times in the last few days read the words “a commenter on StandFirm said….” and following the link (when provided) discover that it is not Matt or Sarah or Greg or David or Jackie, but just one of us shooting our mouths off.  Now, it’s one thing if they excerpt bits of a half dozen comments showing the breadth of the discussion here on SF- quite another when they take one sentence out of one comment and put it up as though it represented the opinion of ACNA. And last I knew, I think 3 of the 5 bloggers I named were still Piskies.

Oh, I have noted that with the CoE vote in the past, the HoBD is once again atwitter with innuendo and name calling aimed in our general direction. I am sure that those two things are completely coincidental.

[32] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-11-2010 at 08:42 PM · [top]

“Oh, I have noted that with the CoE vote in the past, the HoBD is once again atwitter with innuendo and name calling aimed in our general direction. I am sure that those two things are completely coincidental.”
*LOL* Excellent!

[33] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 09:06 PM · [top]

The idea that this is somehow a win or a positive outcome for the ACNA is either wishful thinking or spin and I won’t have any part of either

Well Matt, you think that, whereas I think that your exegesis is contrary to reason and mainly the product of “spin”, so we’ll have to agree to disagree I guess!

Fortunately, ACNA will draw its own conclusions on this and seems to have done so. I trust that they will continue to build on their relationships with people of goodwill in the CofE.

[34] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 09:12 PM · [top]

“Well Matt, you think that, whereas I think that your exegesis is contrary to reason and mainly the product of “spin”,”

Creative.

“so we’ll have to agree to disagree I guess!”

yes.

“Fortunately, ACNA will draw its own conclusions on this and seems to have done so.”

Those who craft the ACNA press releases are certainly doing a fine job. 

“I trust that they will continue to build on their relationships with people of goodwill in the CofE.”

True. Good. And completely irrelevant to the thread.

[35] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-11-2010 at 09:32 PM · [top]

“Fortunately, ACNA will draw its own conclusions on this and seems to have done so.”

Those who craft the ACNA press releases are certainly doing a fine job. 

I may disagree with some of your analysis of the resolution itself.  But on the ACNA press releases, you hit the nail on the head.  It’s as though someone who left TEC brought along a “spin generator” and just reversed the polarity.

May the Lord bless you and yours, Fr. Matt.  Please know that whatever disagreements I may have with you over the appropriate interpretation of this resolution, I know that you have carried more of the weight of the battle to preserve Christ’s Church than any ten of the rest of us.

[36] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-11-2010 at 09:44 PM · [top]

“Church of England General Synod extends pension rights for gay partners - February 11th, 2010 By Stephen Bates, Guardian
The Church of England may not allow its clergy to have their civil ­partnerships blessed in church but it voted tonight to allow the survivors of same-sex ­partnerships the same pension rights as other spouses.”

And ACNA wants to be recognized by these people?

[37] Posted by Floridian on 2-11-2010 at 09:55 PM · [top]

#37, good point.

[38] Posted by MichaelA on 2-11-2010 at 10:00 PM · [top]

I think it’s too soon to tell whether this is a victory or a defeat for those in the ACNA who yearn for recognition by the C of E. We’ll have a better idea next year when we see whether and how the ABC and ABY report back to the synod, as the resolution invites them to do.

[39] Posted by Paul Powers on 2-11-2010 at 10:57 PM · [top]

I see, on the “Roundup” thread, that Fr. Matt did not really favor the original motion itself.  Isn’t that right?—“I, personally speaking, have little desire to remain ‘within the Anglican family’ if it is led by Canterbury and requires assent to the covenant.” This can account for some of the differences in reading the eventual statement from COE.  Generally, I agree with tjmcmahon.  Something positive happened which should be nurtured, even though the negative aspect of the amendment disheartens us somewhat.  I agree we should sound a bit more grateful to the Synod for the attention of so many members and the generally sympathetic tone of the statement.  Of course, I did favor the original motion.

[40] Posted by Paula on 2-11-2010 at 11:50 PM · [top]

Sadly, most ‘exegesis’ is still often affected by one’s experience. Our experience with resolutions in TEC has not been positive. I think it better to take this resolution from across the pond at face value. They have recognized and affirmed ACNA’s desire to become a member of the Communion. This is far better than tabling the motion and not as good as conferring recognition. I will look at the glass as half full and work and pray for the other half to be filled in due time.

[41] Posted by Mana Holman on 2-12-2010 at 12:55 AM · [top]

Matt, I am sorry we disagree on this one.  Perhaps in the long run it will be of little consequence.  I continue to fail seeing how your exegesis treats the context and tone of the resolution.  Even more glaringly I thinks it does not properly weigh the importance of the very early use (1st clause following “This Synod,”) of the word “within”.  How can the Synod be said to see those who have left TEC as being in any other position than “within the Anglican churches”, by any plain reading of the text?  I am probably too dense to follow the proof of your thesis.  Perhaps someone else on this blog can explain it to to me in simple terms.

[42] Posted by CanaAnglican on 2-12-2010 at 12:59 AM · [top]

Matt, 31

This was never about a “win” or a “loss” for the ACNA.  This is about the Church of England expressing its mind.  If we, the ACNA, had asked the CofE to recognize us we would have something at stake.  We would be in a position to win or lose. 

When I left TEC to launch a parish in the ACNA I did so recognizing that this placed me in an impaired communion with friends who still serve in TEC and in the Anglican Church of Canada. Some of these friends I sponsored for ordination, others I served with for years.  The separation is still painful.  I long for the day when the “troubles” end and the greatest level of communion possible is restored as the fabric of communion is repaired.

Your opinion on this thread really makes me want to ask a question that might get me banned.  Hopefully not.  But to quote a northern Canadian expression “Who peed in your cornflakes?” Why are you taking offense at a motion made by an Anglican Province that is largely sympathetic to the ACNA? Didn’t your mother ever teach you to smile and say thank you when you got socks for Christmas?

[43] Posted by Ed McNeill on 2-12-2010 at 04:36 AM · [top]

Hi Ed McNiell

“This was never about a “win” or a “loss” for the ACNA.”

Sure it was. It’s naive to think otherwise. There is always something at stake in votes of this kind.

“This is about the Church of England expressing its mind.”

Yes. It was about the Synod of the Church of England expressing its mind.

“If we, the ACNA, had asked the CofE to recognize us we would have something at stake.”

What do you think our reps were over there for? (see my first response above)

“When I left TEC to launch a parish in the ACNA I did so recognizing that this placed me in an impaired communion with friends who still serve in TEC and in the Anglican Church of Canada. Some of these friends I sponsored for ordination, others I served with for years.  The separation is still painful.”

I know well what you mean.

“I long for the day when the “troubles” end and the greatest level of communion possible is restored as the fabric of communion is repaired.”

Me too. But before that, as a prerequisite, I long for the day when our present heresy has been discredited and the false teachers promoting it have either recanted or been defrocked. 

“Your opinion on this thread really makes me want to ask a question that might get me banned.  Hopefully not.  But to quote a northern Canadian expression “Who peed in your cornflakes?”

I don’t eat cornflakes.

“Why are you taking offense”

heh. I am not offended. I am pointing out what the resolution says and what it does not say. Interesting that you read “taking offense” into that. 

“at a motion made by an Anglican Province that is largely sympathetic to the ACNA?”

Yes, the words are very nice.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you to smile and say thank you when you got socks for Christmas?”

Yes.

But this is not Christmas. This was an extended floor debate in the synod regrading status and standing of the ACNA. Very positive “affirming” language was removed by a fairly substantial majority and replaced with language that says very little of substance. That is what happened.

To suggest that recognizing what happened, and being clear eyed about it, somehow denigrates the efforts of those who worked for something better is absurd.

[44] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 05:25 AM · [top]

Friends,

Words mean things. Reading “tone” into words is perilous. If you would like to do that and call it exegesis, that’s fine. I won’t be doing that.

I don’t know the “tone” intended by all 300 delegates nor does anyone else. What I do know is that the more positive version of this resolution was voted down by a significant majority. That, I think, if we want to speak context, is the most significant preceding event.

Paula, I am not too concerned about being connected or disconnected with Canterbury, it is true. At the same time was hoping that the original motion would have passed and was pulling for it.

[45] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 05:34 AM · [top]

Matt+ at #45

But that is the whole point: You are not engaging in exegesis.

You are engaging in a value judgment as to the context and ecclesiastical implications of the motion. You are insisting that this must be termed a “flat loss” for ACNA, and you will not allow that anyone may call it a “win”, nor a “positive outcome”, nor a “neither a win nor a loss”.

Its the implications and the context where you disagree with others, not the exegesis.

[46] Posted by MichaelA on 2-12-2010 at 07:01 AM · [top]

Rambling, inconsequential observations, now that the dust has settled from the Synod’s actions, vote, and release of the resolution:

1)  The truth of the matter is that at best this little exercise probably doesn’t rise even a millimeter above kicking the can down the road another little bit.

2)  The resolution’s tone is sympathetic rather than empathetic.  With sympathy, one receives a temporary pity party.  With empathy, one receives ongoing identification, commiseration, and support.  The former is passive, the latter, active.

3)  All this (with the notable exception of, in various quarters, concerted orthodox efforts against the revisionists) is looking like theater of the absurd and/or a compendium of Monty Python sketches.  The “Upperclass Twit of the Year” sketch comes to mind.

[47] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 2-12-2010 at 07:05 AM · [top]

#37 Floridian
‘General Synod: Methodists likely to merge with Church of England’ - Martin Beckford - Telegraph [2/12]
The Methodist Council of Great Britain [I expect you may have heard of them] wants to be recognised by and join with “these people” ....?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7216357/General-Synod-Methodists-likely-to-merge-with-Church-of-England.html

[48] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-12-2010 at 07:09 AM · [top]

I should have qualified my #46 with “that is how it appears to me”. Tis getting late, have a good evening everyone and may you all know the Lord’s blessings in special measure.

[49] Posted by MichaelA on 2-12-2010 at 08:27 AM · [top]

Hi MichaelA,

I have no power to disallow people to do or think anything they want. What I will not do is repeat spin or pretend that a motion says things it does not say. A pig in a pink dress does not a princess make.

[50] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 08:40 AM · [top]

Oh dear, Miss Piggy will be disappointed.

[51] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-12-2010 at 09:07 AM · [top]

Matt, #45 despite your observation about “tone,” your conclusions from the words reflect the “tone” of a half-empty glass, while I and others are seeing the glass as half-full (or maybe only one-eighth).

You may be right that in concluding that the “tone” of what they said was:  “Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.”

However, I hear a different tone since what they most definitely did NOT say was:

“Get away from me, you creep!  I know you’re interested in me, but that’s a one-way street.  I’ve got an unlisted phone number, so don’t even try to call me.”

I’m with Greg and others in seeing some positive things in this resolution being passed—and by such a large margin.  A door has been opened, even if only a small way, but it has not been slammed in our face.  Of course it could have been much better, but only time will tell whether this is the opening line in a longer story.

[52] Posted by hanks on 2-12-2010 at 10:16 AM · [top]

I think Matt we have something more than a “pig in a pink dress” here with ACNA.  We have possibly the prom queen in the eyes of God who looks down to see a faithful band of Christians.  And when they offer sacrifice at His altar, He sees His Son.  Regardless of what this means or doesn’t mean is the fact it needed to be said and done publically, just as much of what was said and done at the many gatherings we attended of General Confusion since Phoenix in 1991, when I was a bodyguard for a faithful Bishop who received some death threats by the inclusive folks.  For those who haven’t been in the battle until recently, there is a somewhat long history.  We speak up and speak out for the sake of truth, not playing to the crowds but humbly asking our Heavenly Father to hear us; and the promise is He does.

[53] Posted by Canon Herrmann on 2-12-2010 at 10:28 AM · [top]

“Matt, #45 despite your observation about “tone,” your conclusions from the words reflect the “tone” of a half-empty glass, while I and others are seeing the glass as half-full (or maybe only one-eighth).”

I think I would shift to a more accurate illustration…something about fertilizer and a boy wanting a pony for Christmas

“You may be right that in concluding that the “tone” of what they said was:  “Ohhh, how sweet that you want to be my boyfriend. I “affirm” your desire.”

Oh. That part was not intended to be “exegesis” (translation was the wrong word) but to illustrate that “affirming a desire” does not at all imply an intention to accede to it…an unwarranted conclusion, that many were and are drawing.

“However, I hear a different tone since what they most definitely did NOT say was:

“Get away from me, you creep!  I know you’re interested in me, but that’s a one-way street.  I’ve got an unlisted phone number, so don’t even try to call me.”

No. They affirmed a desire without any indication whatsoever that they intended to accede to it. And, in fact, given the context of the failed vote preceding it, there is far more reason to see the tone as negative (my translation above) than positive…but be that as it may, the resolution as it is written is not positive nor is it a victory for the ACNA. It doesn’t even refer to the ACNA.

“I’m with Greg and others in seeing some positive things in this resolution being passed—and by such a large margin.”

Yes. After the resolution which would have actually said something positive about the ACNA was killed.

“A door has been opened, even if only a small way, but it has not been slammed in our face.”

Have you ever seen Office Space? You know the guy with the thick glasses who never catches on that he’s been fired?

“Of course it could have been much better”

yes.

“but only time will tell whether this is the opening line in a longer story.”

Yes, we will have to wait and see what the future brings.

[54] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 10:30 AM · [top]

Hi Canon Hermann,

I certainly agree that this was a well fought battle.

[55] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 10:32 AM · [top]

ANY connection with Canterbury is the same as being connected to TEC.

The Church of England has just revealed its true colors in the vote to grant ‘gay’ clergy ‘partners’ spousal benefits.

The word ‘gay’ is not a Biblical word or concept, but is a new invention of the pansexual agenda, and it is a term that denotes self-will and rebellion against the design, law and dominion of God.

There are no special identities, exemptions or exclusions based on our desires and self-concepts, nor is there any approval of homosexual acts in all of Scripture.  We are all wrongly oriented before conversion.  II Corinthians 6:9-20 All must die to the past and false identities that our childhoods and the fallen nature has imparted to us and to put on Christ and holiness through sanctification.  II Corinthians 5:17

God is able to save us from all unholy and destructive behaviors and to give us new lives free from sin.  Hebrews 7:25

Scripture, science research, health statistics and clinical practice in psychology and medicine show all acts and desires that God forbids to come from and lead to negative outcomes. No honest science will ever refute Scripture.  All things that are sin cause relational, physical, emotional and spiritual distress and harm. 

Yes, it hurts to crucify the flesh (Galatians 5:24) and it is hard to learn new and Godly ways, but in the end, it leads to eternal good and a better outcome than sin. 
Hebrews 12:11

We cannot break God’s law; they are unchanging and unbreakable.  We only break ourselves in the attempt. 

Only God can put us back together and make us one with Him, one whole and holy person within ourselves and one in holy relationship with each other.

[56] Posted by Floridian on 2-12-2010 at 11:01 AM · [top]

#45. Matt says: “Friends, Words mean things.”

Friends,

What does the word WITHIN (the eleventh word of the resolution mean to you?  The only meaning I can see for it is that they see ACNA as being still “within”.

The resolution could have yielded at least four arrangements:

1.  TEC within—ACNA without
2.  TEC within—ACNA within
3.  TEC without—ACNA within
4.  TEC without—ACNA without

The Synod chose door two, by their selection of the word “within”.

[57] Posted by CanaAnglican on 2-12-2010 at 11:32 AM · [top]

Hi CanaAnglican

Nope. The resolution reads…

“...divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada”

The Anglican churches of the United States and Canada is left wholly and completely undefined. You are imposing a meaning that the text does not necessitate. The phrase could just as easily and simply mean there have been divisions “within” TEC and the ACC that led to the formation of the ACNA

[58] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-12-2010 at 12:08 PM · [top]

but to illustrate that “affirming a desire” does not at all imply an intention to accede to it

Sure Matt… but it’s also quite different from slamming the door in the face of one who comes a-courting. The context of what is sought matters. If you’re seeking the lady’s hand then this reply could be a polite “no” with no future… but we seek fellowship and reconciliation. When pain/insult/even divorce is involved this reply is not such a bad first step.

As for “tone” - this isn’t biblical exegesis. We are not in any way limited to the words on the page and a challenged understanding of 2,000 year old context. We are not suitors begging for a lady’s attentions. We are hopefully separated family members looking to “be one, even as You and I are one”... the back story makes all the difference. Is there any indication that TEC is pleased with the results? Surely they were pushing for very different language?

I think I’m with Canon Herrmann’s #53 on this one (though I prefer princess or bride to “prom queen”)

[59] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 2-12-2010 at 01:00 PM · [top]

Father Matt wrote (in #45)

Reading “tone” into words is perilous.

Actually, it is not understanding tone that is perilous, because meaning will not be ascertained without it. Without an understanding of tone, two people reading the same Swift treatise might come to radically different conclusions: 1) that there should be reform in Ireland or 2) that people should eat their own babies.

Of course, Father Matt chose his words carefully: his phrase “reading tone into” implies that tone does not exist on its own merit, but is a construct of the reader. In literary terms, Father Matt’s reference is actually to mood (which is a construct of the reader) and not to tone (which is the intention of the author).

I will respectfully continue to identify the tone of the Resolution as “reserved affirmation.” If anyone wants to disagree with that, please feel free to do so by looking at the literary devices employed by the Resolution, not by merely dismissing tone as irrelevant.

[60] Posted by selah on 2-12-2010 at 03:37 PM · [top]

This is far better than tabling the motion

Did someone say something about our being divided by a common language?

To ‘table’ in English English means to put before the meeting, precisely the opposite of to ‘shelve’. See the opening words of the Proposer’s words to Synod, where this expression is found.

[61] Posted by Dr. Priscilla Turner on 2-12-2010 at 05:51 PM · [top]

Fr Matt
I tend to agree with your analysis of the CofE General Synod ACNA Motion. Our interpretation is endorsed by a second practioner of UK English, Brian Lewis, Synod Member for Diocese of Chelmsford (located via Thinking Anglicans).

[62] Posted by comprador on 2-13-2010 at 07:41 AM · [top]

RE: 62   PRACTITIONER (preferably!)

[63] Posted by comprador on 2-13-2010 at 10:26 AM · [top]

If you see this as a “positive” then perhaps you will also be able to see that it was “grudgingly given”. Not worth much if you ask me.  Still searching for some small little way to “shame”, or to put a “negative spin” on the ACNA.  I see them as a committee sitting in a locked dark room, feeling their way along the walls looking for the door—the exit out of an unpleasant situation. They give the least amount possible and still make themselves “feel good”.  The tone, or the mood does not much matter the intent was to belittle in some way—to make small either the situation, or the people asking for recognition. To be recognized as existing is a stupid debilitating thing to do to oneself anyway!

[64] Posted by lost on 2-13-2010 at 11:38 AM · [top]

Correction: To “ask for recognition”, especially when you have been so brutally abused for so long—is a stupid thing to do to oneself.  It’s as if an abused wife of many years is still asking (begging) her husband to acknowledge that she is a good person. All this while both parties are heading out the door to the divorce courts.

[65] Posted by lost on 2-13-2010 at 11:41 AM · [top]

For ACNA to spend time and money to seek recognition by the Church of England which has just voted to approve spousal benefits to ‘gay’ ‘clergy’ ‘partners’ is ridiculous.

There is no point in leaving TEC and joining with the CoE and the Canterbury AC, when all these groups have had the same breed of elephant dwelling in the living room infusing the whole house with its emissions and heaping piles of elephant exudate have gotten smeared and tracked throughout the whole structure.  I have discovered the secret Recipe
for the world famous
Anglican fudge.
It is…
.... 100%
....all-natural
...high-fiber
....organic
....sustainable
....locally-produced
....elephant
...poo

[66] Posted by Floridian on 2-13-2010 at 12:17 PM · [top]

Floridian at #66,

I agree that ACNA doesn’t *need* anything from CofE.

For those like myself who start from such a premise, its difficult to see how this could be termed in any sense a “loss” - unless you need something from someone, then its no loss if they don’t give to you what you don’t need.

For those on the other hand who think that ACNA is in desperate need of some sort of recognition from CofE, then yes I can see how they could be despondent about this.

Mind you, I still think there is value in ACNA dealing with CoE, but for the sake of CofE, not the sake of ACNA! Or more accurately, for the sake of the orthodox in England, of whom there are still many.

CofE is flirting dangerously with liberalism. It is still a long way behind TEC. CofE is characterised by a relatively small number of liberal activists, a larger number of uncommitted, ignorant or confused christians, and the orthodox who are still divided against themselves.

*From the perspective of the orthodox cause in CofE*, I can only see this development as positive. The fact that this motion was allowed to be debated at all was positive - people forget that not all proposed motions actually get before General Synod. There are many in CofE (not just committed liberals) who didn’t want to see it debated at all. And in the process, a great deal of information was disseminated to the uncommitted and the ignorant in General Synod.

I don’t want to see CofE accord recognition to ACNA per se. I *do* want to see CofE accord recognition to ACNA because CofE has taken a strong turn towards orthodoxy.

[67] Posted by MichaelA on 2-13-2010 at 06:18 PM · [top]

As I posted on VOL, I’m glad that the CofE Synod took this step forward, and it’ll be interesting to see where it takes us.  And in that regard, we’ll just have to wait, won’t we?

[68] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-11-2011 at 09:22 PM · [top]

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