South Carollina Warfare
What has happened in South Carolina and in a number of other places in the what used to be called PECUSA has been in the making for a long time. The uniquely Anglican understanding of the old maxim “In non essentials, liberty, in essentials, unity, and in all things love” has, in many places in the world wide Communion, fallen into disrepute. It has been replaced with either “relativism/plurality” on one side and a creeping literalism on the other. The old skirmishes between “high church Anglo Catholic” and “Low church Evangelicals” is little more than a historical footnote and a waning anarchism. When any body of what ever type and kind can no longer define what are the essential foundations of identity and belief that body will soon scatter and divide. Or to put it another way ” if you try and be all things to all people there is grave danger that you will become nothing to everyone”! Years ago in the old battles that waged on the extremes of the Anglican experience the one anchor that held the fellowship together was the common fidelity of bishops and clergy with the People of God to what had always been the essentials of belief. It is true that the Church of Jesus Christ does not exist nor function in a vacuum nor is it immune nor should it be to social change and understanding. Our Lord Himself told his Disciples that such change would occur and he gave them, that is the his church, the authority to lose or bind. He even went so far to tell them that there was many things He could have told them but they could not bear to hear them! What does not change is the Foundation of the Gospel, the witness of the Church in Council, and the exercise with the necessity of reason of the conscience . There are many of us who claim the title liberal who do not accept deism as Christology nor unitarianism as an alternative to the Incarnation. Whatever your position defend it with the Essentials and all will ultimately come out with the Latter Rain!
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