Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What hope for Anglicanism? Well, perhaps.....

From my Lutheran perspective, only when the intense heat of the current arguments that now bedevil the Anglican Church begins to cool can Anglicanism recover its poise, and its members start talking and listening to one another rather than shouting.

The key to Christian unity may lie here, and I suspect other Christian churches are watching with interest. If one denomination can learn to live in humility and grace with its profound differences then there may be hope for a deeper cross-party denominational rapport to develop. Ultimately, unity cannot be imposed: it has to be discovered and cultivated organically.

If the Anglican household of faith can discover a way of keeping itself together with its diversity, it will have made an important contribution to that elusive search for true unity - one that respects the dignity of difference. And in the midst of that, what may also be discovered is that difference is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. The diversity within Anglicanism has always been one of its most glorious treasures. It has created the possibility of staying within a faith yet changing, and of moving to and from traditions, yet without abandoning the denomination. Anglicans, like the rest of Christendom, need pray only one prayer this week: "May we all be one - but thank God we are all different."