Thursday, March 27, 2008

Locked for fear of the Jews

Tough bunch. They'd just arranged to have Jesus arrested, tried, convicted and executed on trumped-up charges. One of his disciples, Peter, only escaped by insisting loudly that he wasn't a disciple. It was reasonable to assume that if they were found, they'd all be swept up and crucified in turn. So they met in a house with the doors, and presumably windows, locked. Nobody gets in to threaten them; nobody even wants to get out and risk death. So how did Jesus get in, twice?

Let us now fast-forward to Lambeth 2008, the decennial meeting of bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Communion. It is hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the epicenter of the autonomous Anglican churches around the world, the First Among Equals of all the Primates. The churches of the Anglican Communion are united first by their history of Colonial domination at some point in the last 400+ years, and second by their obeisance to a common liturgy, in spirit if not in word. It is he, Rowan Williams, appointed by the Queen of England, who decides who and what constitute the Anglican Communion.

Every ten years, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites most Anglican bishops and their wives to a fabulous party in the U.K. Those invited are "in" the Anglican Communion, those not invited are, well, "out". Bishops consecrated irregularly are "out." Bishops alleged to be complicit in murder of Muslims, or recently deposed, or actively violating centuries-old boundaries of other dioceses, are nonetheless "in." Gay bishops who hide or publicly deny their God-given sexuality, are "in;" the only gay bishop to openly proclaim God's gift of homosexuality to him, is "out." No one has ever asked, however: in the selection of invitees, is Christ ever locked out?

Which brings me to the subject of this post's title. I believe that God will appear behind the doors of Lambeth 2008 that Rowan the Easily Frightened has locked for fear of homosexuals. Bishop Robinson will appear at the Marketplace and speak to all who will listen. Bishop Marc Andrus has proposed a Witness at Lambeth to put the flesh and blood of LGBT persons on the ground or in videotapes at Lambeth. His idea, now public, will gather strength and support, God willing. The bishop which the Anglican Communion has refused will become, if not the chief cornerstone, the chief topic of discussion, at this Conference. The Spirit of God cannot be denied.

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