Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Frayed Rope

Ephraim Radner has resigned from the ACN in a moving letter that was posted on the House of Bishops and Deputies listserve. Part of it is reproduced in this post by Fr. Jake.

As I have said before in other places, Ephraim was my TA at Yale Divinity School - very conservative, very rigid, but very honest. I applaud his standing up for what he believes is right and separating himself from those whom he feels are going too far.

Of course, what that leaves is one very lone Ephraim Radner with no place to stand in unity with anyone. He's already expressed his very conservative views and disagreement with the Episcopal Church; he allied himself with a group that seemed to share his beliefs. That group seems to be disintegrating somewhat.

The Anglican Communion now seems like a frayed rope: first, the end of the rope separated into two or three large pieces. Now those pieces have unraveled and the end has become very fuzzy. The rope is unusable for its original purpose - in this case, the strengthening of Christ's mission of healing, love and salvation. Unfortunately, this metaphor doesn't lend itself to the possibility of reconciliation. Putting fuzzy rope back to its original state means cutting off the frayed part and ensuring that the cut is sealed and the tightness of the rope is maintained.

I'm not sure what is needed to heal the Anglican Communion, but there are some very angry people and some very hurt people standing alone - like little pieces of frayed rope ends. I think only God can mend this one without cutting away the seemingly unusable part.


Cecilia said...

I agree with you Sharecropper. Only God can heal such divisions. The question is, can all parties stop thinking they are the only ones who can hear God's voice speaking to them, and realize their need for one another?

Of course, I'm just a closeted pastor in a reformed denomination that is, itself, fraying...

God help and heal us all.

Pax, C

Anonymous said...

there are some very angry people and some very hurt people standing alone

... sort of like ice bergs that have broken off from the main ice sheet (of God's "frozen chosen"?? hehe)... each one all alone in the water, with a great deal of destructive potential lying just below the surface... just waiting to wreak havoc.

Now... to carry the metaphor even further... it is theoretically possible (I know it's been scientifically contemplated but don't know if it's actually been done) to tow an ice berg to a location far away where it can provide a supply of much needed fresh water... thereby turning a parched desert into "a land of milk and honey." So all those little breakaway groups hold the potential to be either destructive... or... something far better. Time will tell.