Anglican Samizdat

June 12, 2009

Telling moments in the ANiC vs New Westminster trial

In the final argument, the diocesan lawyer said this:

If the Solemn Declaration sets up a trust so defined, “Churches would be forced into rigorous conservatism,” Macintosh said. “Adapting their doctrines and practices to changing social realities would bring the risk of schism and dissolution. They would be forced to stick with old practices and old understandings.”

The unstated assumption on the part of the diocese is that adapting church doctrine to contemporary cultural mores is what God calls the church to do. This is at the heart of the disagreement: the diocese believes that culture contributes to the determination of doctrine, whereas ANiC believes doctrine has been revealed by God through the Incarnation and propositionally in the bible; it is not subject to the vagaries of shifting temporal conditions. Orthodox Christians view culture in the light of Scripture, revisionists view Scripture in the light of the contemporary culture.

The day before, the diocesan lawyer had this to say:

Different theological positions within a “big tent” denomination like Anglicans are “hardly surprising,” Macintosh argued. But most Canadian Anglicans—including many conservatives opposed to the blessing of same sex unions—feel they can remain in the Anglican Church of Canada.

The account of the trial on the New Westminster site repeatedly refers to ANiC members as dissidents, a euphemism for troublemakers, one assumes. The diocese contrasts this with conservatives who feel they can remain in the Anglican Church of Canada, a number of whom were named. What we see here is a distasteful parading of tame evangelicals to press home the diocesan attempt to squash orthodox Christians in ANiC.

I know there are faithful and well-meaning Christians who believe they are called to remain in the ACoC and I am not in a position to question what they consider to be their calling. But the fact that they do remain is being used by the ACoC to further its revisionist agenda.


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