Thursday, 15 November 2012

An honest appraisal of Anglicanism

An honest appraisal of Anglicanism

Born an Anglican it is only recently that I have really seriously thought about the 
very idea of an Anglican church. (I am also a Pentecostal). 

The name sounds like it is a church for the English. I have listened to a number of 
bishops and other commentators on Anglican identity desperately trying to explain it, 
without success in my view. 

To my mind being an Anglican only really makes sense if one is in relation with
people from other nations as an equal. Anglican hierarchy doesn't make a lot
of sense. It is only when Anglicans are humble enough to get down on their
knees and pray with Christians from other denominations and work together
with them that we can actually see what Anglican identity is. 

If they are seriously intent on that it is not simply because they believe they
are equal, but also because they believe they have something profoundly
important to share. I suppose the fear is that no one will listen.  Sticking
to your intellect, education or to the belief that your theology is more orthodox
is easier to do. But all these are the very strengths of the Anglican church
which others would appreciate if only the time, effort and humility were taken to 
communicate them.

The truth is that an entrenched refusal to appreciate the immediate cultural
barriers of race renders the word Anglican in England a constant stumbling block. 
This is perhaps why many of the most effective Anglican Christians are not English,
but African. And there are more of them as well.

It is time for us to appreciate what it might cost someone to renounce their own
ethnic identity to become Anglican. Although we cannot be exactly sure of the reasons
why millions have done so, it does nevertheless tell us how precious Anglicanism actually is. 
Should we not be willing to share the many elements of Anglicanism that are properly Christian 
as widely as possible?

It is time for us to dig down deeper and realise the resources of God that are
placed within the Anglican tradition and to lay down our lives to share what
we have with the world.

Could this be one of the keys to something very special that God is about to do throughout
the world?

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