Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Together for the Gospel?

I sometimes despair about my church. Not my local congregation - which, for all its faults is a great group of people who are trying to live faithfully to the teaching and example of Jesus and make a positive difference in their communities and workplaces.

No, I mean the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion. At a time when churches the world over are beginning to work together more constructively than ever to bring the reality of God's kingdom of peace, justice and grace to a world torn asunder by war, injustice and ungraciousness, the Anglican Communion is tearing itself apart over the issue of whether or not ordain gay priests.

Not that the issue does not matter, but how did we get so easily diverted by such a side issue? What about poverty, war, AIDS, the injustices in world trade and the negative aspects of globalisation, the erosion of family life, and the increasing spiritual poverty in the West that we are so rapidly exporting around the world? What about the Good News that Jesus brought? Why is that not our number one priority?

The answer seems to be not in the Anglican Communion, but rather among the Catholics, Pentecostals and other protestant groups, who all seem to be less readily diverted. I give God thanks that there are plenty of people (including Anglicans at the grass roots) who are not getting bogged down in political disputes that divert us from the Great Commission. Those are the people I want to be working with.

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