Bishop Swing of California has posted an essay on his diocese's Web site. Excerpt (emphasis mine):
We would not be having the present turmoil around homosexuality if the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church did not have an elevated doctrine of freedom in the Body of Christ. Because we are caught up in the new creation that springs from Resurrection power, we are an expansive people. We have the freedom to disagree but stay together, freedom to discriminate and also welcome everyone, to live with contradictions. We even have the freedom to self-destruct and completely forfeit our freedom. If we had a magisterium or a final authority, we would not be this far into the turmoil. We are where we are because we allow the Holy Spirit to move us into the chaos as a precursor of a fresh order of a new creation.
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When I was a young priest, I used to watch the old bishops wrestle over the current challenges of the day. Often they violently disagreed, but at the end of the day they were the House of Bishops. Not so now. There is a minority of bishops who will not receive Holy Communion with other bishops. They have litmus tests. “Were you in New Hampshire? Have you ordained a woman?" Whatever is the ultimate turn off, it is clear that this minority had created its own Mini-House of Bishops. It usually meets at the same time and a few miles away as the House of Bishops. And far, far beyond that they claim their legitimacy is based on keeping faith with the majority of the Anglican Communion and its Primates, not in its collegiality in the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.
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Well, the Anglican Communion Network held a conference in Pittsburgh in November, and the great man of the movement, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, had these surprising words to say to the faithful. “They (the Episcopal Church) may get the building, but you will get the blessing. What God is looking for is your faith, not your facility.”
Here is an African who is a supreme missionary. He calls people into pilgrimage. Leave everything behind and follow. God will provide. This is not good news to the Network strategists. They want to stay home and live in our buildings. Think hostile takeover, and you get the picture of these folks, who pledged to “carry out guerrilla warfare against the Episcopal Church.” They talk pilgrimage; they intend mutiny.
If folks are so horrified with the election in New Hampshire that they leave the Episcopal Church, I understand. It is a matter of principle. If folks want to use the events in such a way as to catapult themselves into elevated authority, then I think it is a matter of power. The property issue tells the tale. This fight is about power, not principle.
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I do believe that the Episcopal Church is a brave, supple, obedient part of the Body of Christ and is alive to the Incarnation in the 21st century, as well as centuries past and centuries to come. We are not everything or necessarily the best thing. But we are uniquely created by the Spirit to do the will of God as we see that will beckoning to us. We will not always be pleasing to the world or to ourselves or to other Anglicans. But we do try through song and conscience, praise and action to please the One God of all and to embrace all the children of God and all of God’s creation.