Draft Anglican Covenant
The text of the proposed draft for an Anglican Covenant can be found here. Perhaps I have reached the point where my cynicism has become sinful, but the text reads like it could be interpreted to mean pretty much whatever anyone wants it to mean. For example, one of the commitments for each member church is:
“To spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and discernment to listen and to study with one another in order to comprehend the will of God. Such study and debate is an essential feature of the life of the Church as it seeks to be led by the Spirit into all truth and to proclaim the Gospel afresh in each generation. Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God’s revelation to us; others may prove to be distractions or even obstacles to the faith: all therefore need to be tested by shared discernment in the life of the Church.”
“Some issues, which are perceived as controversial or new when they arise, may well evoke a deeper understanding of the implications of God’s revelation to us?” Any church so inclined could easily interpret that statement to open the door for all kinds of theological innovations, .
Someone please correct me if I’m wrong; you won’t wound my inner child. I suppose I shouldn’t even care anymore; I have found my sanctuaries in which to weather the coming storms, and I’m more than happy to share them. I guess I still had hopes for Anglicanism as an institution; that some new Athanasius would appear to counter our last-days Arians. One suspects that those days are behind us, and that we live in sadly diminished times.
"The holy Fathers were making predictions about the last generation. They said, 'What have we ourselves done?' One of them, the great Abba Ischyrion replied, 'We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God'. The others replied, 'And those who come after us, what will they do?' He said, 'They will struggle to achieve half our works'. They said, 'And to those who come after them, what will happen?' He said, 'The men of that generation will not accomplish any works at all and temptation will come upon them; and those who will be approved in that day will be greater than either us or our fathers.'"