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Learning when to say goodbye - lessons from Singapore

Saturday, August 9, 2008 • 4:53 am

On 9 August orthodox Anglicans should look to Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew and recognise when to reluctantly but sensibly call it a day.


Regular readers will know that my wife, Jacqui, is from Singapore.

Why do I mention this? Well because today, August 9th, is Singapore’s National Day. On this day every year Singapore remembers their second Declaration of Independence on 9 August 1965, primarily with the National Day Parade.

Singapore had, in a sense, already been independent. On 16 September 1963 they joined the Federation of Malaysia, a partnership that they were keen to make work. Sadly, it proved impossible. The Federation fell apart 2 years later as a result of a deep difference of principles between the People’s Action Party (the majority party in Singapore at that time and to this day) and the ruling UMNO of Malaysia.

A key figure in the initial move to independence, the merger with Malaysia, and then the subsequent choice to go it alone was Lee Kuan Yew. Lee had fought for union with Malaysia, believing it to be in the best interests of the tiny island city. However, 2 years later he was forced to concede that the partnership could not work.

A famous interview of the time is recorded for us…

No-one could accuse Lee of wanting a breach with Malaysia, the video is clear. But he was also a man who knew when to call it a day. When to realise that one’s partners were never going to really want to play fair. He had a love of unity, but also the wisdom to know when to reluctantly call it quits.

43 years of prosperity for Singapore is more than enough of a testimony to the rightness of his actions. Sometimes, for the sake of the people you are committed to leading, you learn when to reluctantly call it a day.

I’m of the opinion, on Singapore’s National Day, that Lee’s actions are an important encouragement for the orthodox in the Anglican Communion. There comes a day when you say “enough is enough” and, however reluctantly, you call a day to a partnership with another party who, if you’re honest, just don’t want to play fair. That, it seems to me, is the wisdom of GAFCON and, I would hope, the wisdom of those conservatives who have left the Lambeth Conference realising that TEC, the Canadian Church and other liberals will never be properly committed to the true principles of our partnership.

These are people who want to be called Anglicans but reject the doctrine of the Prayer Book and the Articles. These are people who want to be called Christians but reject orthodoxy and the authority of Scripture. We are better off without them.

The difference with Singapore, of course, is that the small island state has territorial integrity, They have boundaries that should remain untouched. The Kingdom which is not of this world, however, has no such boundaries. A reluctant declaration of independence for loyal Anglicans is not bound by such restrictions, rather any defence of the Gospel requires that we sweep such restrictions aside. They are, after all, not Biblical. We work side by side with like-minded Gospel partners, seeking to encourage them and assist them.

In this I think that the Clone is wrong. Peter, for the sake of charity and the moral high-ground, wants to call us to a moratorium on border-crossing. The problem is we’re not in the situation of Singapore in the opening of 1965. We’re beyond struggling to make this work. We’re at the point of July 1965 when it’s clear that nothing is going to work. The other party have no intention of playing ball. Taking a break will not persuade them, nor is there a moral high-ground that still needs winning.

No, on 9 August orthodox Anglicans should look to Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew and recognise when to reluctantly but sensibly call it a day. That doesn’t mean you have to sign up to GAFCON (although I’d be encouraging it). It just means that the most sensible thing is to move on.


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Comments:

A pity the audio is so bad.  What does he say right at the end? 

GAFCON breaking away is the wrong strategy, I think—like Nikolai’s father in War and Peace:  when your son gambles away estates he doesn’t own, on someone else’s crooked dice, you send him out of the country until it all settles down, put up some barricades, and then dare the other guys to come try taking them.  The police aren’t going to help us out, that’s clear, but that doesn’t mean we have to meekly fold our tents, any more than the other team did after the passage of Lambeth 1.10.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[1] Posted by gone on 08-09-2008 at 06:52 AM • top

at the end he says

would you mind if we stopped for a while?

FWIW, I don’t think that GAFCON are “breaking away”. They are, rather, realising that the other party is never going to come back to the table so now it’s time to move on.

[2] Posted by David Ould on 08-09-2008 at 06:56 AM • top

David, I want the revisionists to be the iceberg and us to be the glacier.  You seem not to mind being the iceberg.

I think souls are at stake if we let our <strike>Warty</strike>Worthy Opponents walk off with the title and the silver—all those nice buildings, usually-tasteful vestments, and venerable ecclesiastical ties make them look so much like a church, you see.  I think GAFCON should do its own thing too, but not by leaving the Communion.  We should pull the Communion our way, and if it falls apart, it falls apart.  At least the Other Team doesn’t get to keep it.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[3] Posted by gone on 08-09-2008 at 07:06 AM • top

No, on 9 August orthodox Anglicans should look to Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew and recognise when to reluctantly but sensibly call it a day. That doesn’t mean you have to sign up to GAFCON (although I’d be encouraging it). It just means that the most sensible thing is to move on.

 

Let me be clear - are you saying that you want the Archdiocese of Sydney to leave the Anglican Communion?

[4] Posted by driver8 on 08-09-2008 at 07:26 AM • top

Each of the bishops, post-GAFCON and post-Lambeth, with their advisors, canon theologians, priests, various boards and vestries, are now responsible for what occurs within the boundaries of that diocese. 

They are responsible for the theological and doctrinal standards, for what is preached and taught and for pastoral practices within each of their dioceses. 

Their actions and words will declare their position and their veracity as far as the agreements that have been signed by the Primates of their Provinces with the rest of the Anglican Communion.

They will show by actions and words whether they are willing to adhere to orthodox Christianity: the worship of Jesus Christ, to the teachings of the Scriptures, the Gospel of Salvation, the necessity of Christ’s Atonement for sin, Resurrection or to another form of religion, the worship of a vague deity derived from a mosiac of many religions, and/or a devotion to the gratification of self, the dominion of one’s own thoughts, feelings and desires that has evolved in the secular humanistic culture.

This responsibility cannot be evaded or avoided. 

*What is done and allowed within each diocese and parish will determine and confirm the validity of the authority and leadership of that See.* 

It will be up to each parishoner or parent/s to decide what standards they will use to determine whether to recognize, respect and submit to that leader’s authority for themselves and for their family.

Deuteronomy 30:19:
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Joshua 24:15:But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Joel 3:14: Multitudes, multitudes
    in the valley of decision!
    For the day of the LORD is near
    in the valley of decision.

Psalm 1:
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

[5] Posted by Theodora on 08-09-2008 at 07:43 AM • top

Let me be clear - are you saying that you want the Archdiocese of Sydney to leave the Anglican Communion?

No, not at all. I’m saying we give up pretending to try and make any form of unity with the liberals work.

The brilliance of GAFCON is to remain fully members of the Anglican Communion but to ignore those who deny the gospel.

[6] Posted by David Ould on 08-09-2008 at 07:48 AM • top

This is a no-brainer.  The revisionists have walked away just as liberal Protestant Theology walked away from orthodox in the 19th century.  Again: THEY HAVE WALKED AWAY!  And, anyone who is in dialog knows they ain’t coming back.  So, I am prepared; have the exit plan in place.  When our parish, diocese, new province catches up, I’ll already be there.  More appeasement?  No way.

[7] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 08-09-2008 at 07:48 AM • top

From an abstract point, declaring a moratorium on border crossings gives tacit agreement that there is an equivalence between spiritual and administrative issues.  We should not fall into that trap.  They are not.

As someone who would not now be an Anglican without border crossings, I would find it very difficult to slam that door in the face of those now waking to the danger.  Besides, it would take only a few months to prove, yet again, the pointlessness of the gesture.  I am very certain that many traditionals outside the US don’t “get that” about TEC.

[8] Posted by APB on 08-09-2008 at 07:50 AM • top

David, #6, How and in what form the ‘ignoring’ will take place within the Anglican communion is the next question.

How will those who would oppose revisionism and stand firm as orthodox Christians respond, act, speak, organize, convene to ignore those who have departed from orthodoxy?  This is a matter for much corporate and individual prayer, fasting and seeking the face of God.  This question will be decided by all the fractals of the church from each individual to the Province.  It was helpful for me to read the history of the AAC that began with 20 people dedicating themselves to prayer and fasting in 1995 to see what happens when people humble themselves to pray and seek God.

[9] Posted by Theodora on 08-09-2008 at 08:08 AM • top

As a Singaporean its great to see my country being mentioned in Stand Firm. The analogy however is flawed. I dont think Lee Kuan Yews opponents - indigenous malays-would like to be characterised as those who did not play fair.

Singapore under Lee chose to challenge the idea of Malay supremacy in the early 60’s. This provoked a crisis. Lee’s ideas and party, rightly or wrongly, were considered a threat to the federation. Penang and East Malaysia are regions with huge non malay populations and they chose and still choose to live within a system which recognizes malay political supremacy (like the malays were like the blacks in South Africa).

We were asked to leave the Malaysian federation. And that’s how Singapore became an independant nation.

Separation benefited both Singapore and Malaysia in that both countries have prospered on their own terms.

[10] Posted by AhKong2 on 08-09-2008 at 08:09 AM • top

#10. The story which you probably are too young to remember in person is interesting as to the way this played out:
I was involved in the management of an agricultural company in Malaysia from 1988 until 1995 and lived there for a number of years. Singapore was our most important customer. David Ould gives an excellent analogy of the history of Singapore and its leaving the Federation to the present Anglican Communion problems.  There is one important point. (David your wife might well remember this and may want to correct me and “the Beat” please do the same). Immediately prior to the separation, the Malays became worried that the Chinese and Indian populations were soon to be the majority in the Federation, something the Malays did not want.  In the early 1960’s gangs of Malays rampaged through the heavily populated Chinese areas of Kuala Lumpur and other cities killing as many Chinese as they could. Many of my Chinese workers, being children at the time, were hidden by their parents and grandparents to keep from being killed.

Since Singapore was majority Chinese, gangs of Malays crossed the causeway into Singapore and ravaged Chinese shops and residential areas. As I remember the story, the Prime Minister of the Malaysia Federation Tunku Abdul Rahman called Lee Kuan Yew and told him the only way to save his people was to get out of the Federation.  They did and as two separate countries peace eventually came. Singapore’s remarkable rise in importance preceded Malaysia’s, but now are both doing well.

There must be a separation in the TEC. Like the Malays in the Malaysian Federation, the revisionists control the ruling apparatus. Their every intent is absolute control with no challenge to them. Someone in 815 has to be like the Malaysian Federation PM Tunku Abdul Rahman and tell the minority that for the sake of both groups, they must get out.

Has +KJS got the intestinal fortitude to tell us to get out for the sake of both groups or is she going to try to pick us off one by one?

[11] Posted by Oldman on 08-09-2008 at 11:11 AM • top

Peter Ould
Greetings!
You are, apparently, an admirer of Singapore’s senior statesman, Lee Kuan Yew, and respect his wisdom. Last year, somewhat surprisingly, he intervened in the ongoing debate about human sexuality and, consequently, some of the more extreme utterences, particularly by religious spokespeople, have been toned down of late in the island republic. Just in case you missed it, here goes: 

Referring to Straits Times report of a speech by Lee Kuan Yew, April 23 2007]
(Reuters, 23 April 2007, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew questions homosexuality ban)

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said last weekend that on the question of homosexuality, Singapore has to “take a practical, pragmatic approach to what I see is an inevitable force of time and circumstance.”
Some reports have cast his comments as suggesting that he believed decriminalisation should be moved forward. Reuters, for example, reported thus:
Singapore’s powerful former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, acknowledging the view that some people are genetically destined to be homosexual, has questioned the city-state’s ban on sex between men.
Lee’s exact words, reported in print and video by the Straits Times, were as follows:
You take this business of homosexuality. It raises tempers all over the world, and even in America. If in fact it is true – and I have asked doctors this – that you are genetically born a homosexual because that’s the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes, you can’t help it. So why should we criminalise it? But there’s such a strong inhibition in all societies — Christianity, Islam, even the Hindu, Chinese societies — and we are now confronted with a persisting aberration. But is it an aberration? It’s a genetic variation. So what do we do? I think we pragmatically adjust, carry our people. Don’t upset them and suddenly upset their sense of propriety and right and wrong. But at the same time let’s not go around like this moral police, barging into people’s rooms. That’s not our business. So you have to take a practical, pragmatic approach to what I see is an inevitable force of time and circumstance.
He had prefaced these remarks by saying that Singapore needed to keep abreast of the world.
You either go with the world and be part of the world or you will find that we become a quaint, quixotic, esoteric appendage of the world.

It is unusual for a chap of LKY’s vast intellectual and analytical ability - not to mention stubborn will and indefatigable resilience - to change his mind like that at 85 or so.

I was hugely cheered and encouraged by your brother’s (Peter Ould+) post-Lambeth post, and by BabyBlue’s gracious defence of Abp Rowan’s dichotomy…he isn’t the first and won’t be the last to wrestle with the inconsistencies that arise between personal opinion and institutional responsibility that goes with one’s position.

All in all, a welcome relief from the appalling an juvenile and abusive language dredged up by several of your regulars during Lambeth 2008 - most especially in the way they refer to the constitutionally elected and installed Presidng Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. I suppose that that sort of behaviour becomes self-sustaining in an exclusive brotherhood (Sarah, you are unforgettable and female, but I know you will never approve of inclusive language) of identical mindsets and interpretations of belief…coupled with a relentless shunning of the dialectic.

Pax vobiscum.

[12] Posted by gweilo on 08-09-2008 at 11:23 AM • top

David, thanks for your insightful review of the situation.  I confess that the far east has not been on our radar scope.  Things are bad everywhere, not just the AC or TEC.  A close friend called this morning to tell me that her son who just got back from Afganastan is to be deployed to Georgia because of the fighting with Russia.  Looks bad, but maybe not.
    The problem in the AC, like everywhere else is the weakness of the leadership, and I am talking about the orthodox.  The cancer in AC would require radical surgery, such as the GS and Gafcon, breaking communion with the CofE and ++RW, but none of them will have the fortitude to do this. 
  An interesting new book on this subject is “Troublesom Young Men” by Lynn Olson, which is the story of some firey young men in parliment who singlehandedly got Winston Churchill in power, and the rest is history. The AC problems is just the fading and decay of the British Empire.  A recent BBC production on Churchill quoted him at the end of his life that his greatest regret was to have know the glory that was Great Britian and to now see if decaying.  Tolkin felt the same way.  The Elves and Middle Earth are fading away.  Sad.  On the scene now, the strong leadership developing is in the Islamic states and in China.  The US is streached thin. 
  But, God is still on His throne, and He is raising up kings and putting down kings, and it is for the best of all His Elect.  Praise the Lord.

[13] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 08-09-2008 at 12:19 PM • top

PROPHET MICAIAH. What a Prophet you are! What we Orthodox Anglicans need is strong leadership like came from Churchill, Anwar Sadat, and Lee Kuan Yew. I am not sure whether Peter Akinola is right for he carries a lot of baggage, but Venables and Anis call a spade a spade or like my mother used to say, “They call a spade a shovel.” In many ways, I doubt whether Duncan is up for the job. To me he sounds a bit afraid. 

But I am sure the Lord will provide us with one or more strong leaders and hope to hear from people here who will give us their thoughts on possibilities that we Orthodox in the TEC can look to and depend on to lead us.

I don’t consider +KJS and her revisionist “leaders” strong enough in leadership qualities to be so hard to overcome, but we can not let them kill our church.  We orthodox soldiers of the Cross must “stand on the beaches” behind strong leadership.

[14] Posted by Oldman on 08-09-2008 at 01:27 PM • top

This Should our Battle Hymn:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.
To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

[15] Posted by Oldman on 08-09-2008 at 01:57 PM • top

gweilo -

And once more in English please….

David:

I agree with you on both counts:

1.  That we need to quit pretending there is unity in the church when there isn’t any between these two gospels

2. That we simply unite under GAFCON and go on.

Enough already and I don’t know about anyone else on the site, but I simply don’t care about Gene Robinson or Shori anymore as they are oxbow lakes cut off from the mainstream of Christianity.  It is time to move on from those ‘rainbow shades’ and go on with the ministry of the Gospel - which will swallow them whole.

[16] Posted by Eclipse on 08-09-2008 at 04:37 PM • top

You know what happens to oxbow lakes?  They stagnate, turn into swamps and eventually dry up - which is the projectory of the Episcopal Church in a nutshell.

[17] Posted by Eclipse on 08-09-2008 at 04:41 PM • top

#16 - Amen!  since starting our AMiA church plant in January, we are released from the TEC-watching obsession of the past few years are now focused on the road ahead, not the rear view mirror.  The oxbow analogy is apt - even though it’s painful to see friends stuck in those dead waters, it is time to get into the three streams that join in the river of vital and authentic Christianity that is flowing in the world.

[18] Posted by Cross Mountain on 08-09-2008 at 07:03 PM • top

Re # 3

CryptoCatholic, I think it is significant that you said “…souls are at stake …”.  In 18 comments prior to this one and in David’s+ post, that is the only reference to salvation, bringing lost souls to Christ, and providing them with sustenance and succor thereafter.

The only reason for the Anglican Communion, indeed the “one Catholic and Apostolic Church” existing is to bring salvation, Jesus Christ, Grace and forgiveness of sins to lost souls.  The only reason human sexuality is an issue is that approval, sanctioning and blessing various manifestations of human sexuality in homosexuals acts and adultery, among others, flies in the face of the Scriptures and makes the message of salvation and forgiveness of sins by the Blood of Christ appear meaningless when advocated and practiced by those offering those false teachings.  If one is not sinning, why does one need forgiveness and salvation?  If Jesus Christ is not the one and only way to salvation, why Christianity?

We need to focus on the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, draw close and cling to those also proclaiming and attempting to live the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and separate ourselves from those who do not proclaim and attempt to live that message.  The Anglican Church is a man-made entity, itself the product of a “schism”, and of little importance in the long term.  What matters is the “one Catholic and Apostolic Church”, of which the Anglican Communion, in its present form, may or may not be a part.

Singapore and Malaysia are, and their temporary union was, a man-made structure.  The Anglican Communion is a man-made structure.  The one Catholic and Apostolic Church is a God made structure.  Departure from the man-made Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Communion, both man-made entities, is not departure from the one Catholic and Apostolic Church provided that upon leaving one joins some other man-made entity which is, by virtue of its fidelity to the Scriptures and the faith once delivered, a member of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The reason for departure matters greatly.  The process doesn’t, as long as it is done in love and charity and leads to membership in the one Catholic and Apostolic Church.  In my view, we are too much focused on the process, the mechanics.

[19] Posted by Ol' Bob on 08-09-2008 at 07:27 PM • top

Ol’ Bob,

I have a somewhat more Catholic ecclesiology than yours, I think.  I have a high opinion of the importance of the visible unity of the Church—but again, more because of the scandal it brings to weak-minded individuals than because of its intrinsic neatness.  I stayed in DioNY for 15 years, and then skipped out to do a Ugandan church plant under the wing of a very strong Anglican church in Connecticut.  So I have a foot in both camps at the moment.

I think that you’re right that the reason for departure—or non-departure matters more than the manner in which it is done.

At the moment, though, I’m mostly grateful to be out from under the tender mercies of +Roskam. 

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[20] Posted by gone on 08-09-2008 at 07:38 PM • top

Amen, Ol’ Bob, #19!!! The Church is a God-made structure, an act and design of Jesus Christ who said, I Will Build MY Church.  And he does. 

Amen to many other encouraging posts on this thread.

[21] Posted by Theodora on 08-09-2008 at 09:02 PM • top

Re # 20

CryptoCatholic, thanks for your thoughtful response.

I admit my ecclesiology is probably pretty basic and simple.  I don’t say that defensely or perjoratively, I have said many times in comments on this blog that I think most issues can be reduced to simple terms.

I also have left TEC, several times, moving to “continuing churchs” after St. Louis, back to ECUSA and again leaving for some other church, and am currently attending a church under the episcopal jurisdiction of +Orombi, and feel a sense of gratitude and release.

Still a pilgrim, searching, but firmly founded in my faith, which I am sure +Schori and most of her followers can also say.  I think I am right, that she is on the wrong path, and I pray for her and her followers.

For now, as for me, I am out of TECUSA, for whom I feel only love and regret, and getting comfortable elsewhere.

[22] Posted by Ol' Bob on 08-09-2008 at 09:13 PM • top

David writes,

No, not at all. I’m saying we give up pretending to try and make any form of unity with the liberals work.

The brilliance of GAFCON is to remain fully members of the Anglican Communion but to ignore those who deny the gospel.

Ephraim+ one time said that in order to differentiate, the orthodox needs to have a seperate General Convention. That suggestion was never heard again.

[23] Posted by robroy on 08-09-2008 at 10:44 PM • top

As someone who was at the Singapore National Day Parade yesterday - they certainly know how to put on a show…

...but as a westerner living there, I feel ever so slightly nauseous about comparisons between orthodox Anglicans and Mr Lee…

[24] Posted by Derek Smith on 08-09-2008 at 11:49 PM • top

” The Kingdom which is not of this world, however, has no such boundaries.”

The boundries, the idea of institutional structure over part of the earth that is exclusive was created by and for Constantine, the Roman Emperor, who wasn’t baptized until he was in his death bed (the novelity of this is that he lay in that death bed for more than three months for everyone was so afraid of him that they would not declare him dead or even touch him.) The ancient right of diocese boundraries is about a dead man in a bed stinking to high heaven. Praise God that it should never be breached.

[25] Posted by ctowles on 08-10-2008 at 09:49 AM • top

Boundaries? What boundaries? The Holy Spirit has now led us to a place that when we seek Jesus,to worship Our Lord and Saviour, there are no boundaries. We have the God given right and freedom to worship where we wish, and who we worship with. These Boundaries are man made and they can be changed or ignored. If our worthy opponents refuse to play by God’s Rules then we should not be troubled by not ignoring their rules.

[26] Posted by bradhutt on 08-11-2008 at 04:46 AM • top

Oops!
Boundaries? What boundaries? The Holy Spirit has now led us to a place that when we seek Jesus,to worship Our Lord and Saviour, there are no boundaries. We have the God given right and freedom to worship where we wish, and who we worship with. These Boundaries are man made and they can be changed or ignored. If our worthy opponents refuse to play by God’s Rules then we should not be troubled by ignoring their rules.

[27] Posted by bradhutt on 08-11-2008 at 04:49 AM • top

David+,

I’ll add my thanks for this thoughtful and illuminating post.  I’ll freely admit to not knowing beforehand the history of Singapore and its independence from the Federation of Malaysia.  The analogy does seem apt indeed.

But I’ll just point out the obvious too.  It’s significant that the Malaysian federation was officially and in reality a FEDERATION.  The Anglican Communion has traditionally sought and dreamed of being more than a mere federation of fully autonomous national or regional churches.  But this crisis has shown that the dream of being a true worldwide Communion is just that, a dream.  And given our current structures, it’s just a mirage, an attractive illusion with no reality.

And as others have pointed out above, the analogy breaks down in that both Singapore and Malaysia eventually went on to prosper and thrive since their break up in the mid 1960s.  Personally, I’m confident (contra skeptical naysayers) that the new Anglican province with Common Cause at its core that will arise in North America will thrive, as Singapore has.  But I’m even more sure that TEC will flounder and sink, like the Titanic, and unlike Malaysia.

Jesus used many parables to describe what the Kingdom of God is like.  No one parable suffices by itself.  And likewise, no one analogy will adequately capture what the New Reformation is like.  But the Independence of Singapore seems like a rather good analogy to me.

Still, it would be interesting to see what representatives of the thriving ethnic Chinese Church in Singapore think of this comparison.  I wonder if ++John Chew, or theologian Michael Poon+, or Canon Wong+, would agree with you, David.  I suspect they would, but it would be nice to know for sure.

David Handy+

[28] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 08-11-2008 at 08:23 AM • top

TEC, the Canadian Church and other liberals will never be properly committed to the true principles of our partnership.

[29] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 08-11-2008 at 09:22 AM • top

I fear that the analogy comes closer to that of Russia and Georgia then to Singapore and Malaysia.

[30] Posted by Siangombe on 08-12-2008 at 06:42 AM • top

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