The big news in the Anglican world is that a group of conservative Anglicans in North America have established a new communion. Called the Anglican Church in North America, they hope to be recognized by the worldwide Anglican Communion. It has already garnered some headlines:
- Rick Warren, the seemingly ubiquitous “Purpose Driven Life” pastor, has expressed his support for these Anglicans.
- More significantly, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, already called for talks to establish full communion between his Church and this new communion.
Whereas I sympathize with these Anglicans (I can’t imagine how a traditional Christian could stay in today’s Episcopal church), I can’t help but feel sadness that yet another Christian body has been created, when it was Christ’s express wish that we “may be one.” For almost 500 years the solution to discord within Christianity has been schism, which, instead of modeling the unity of the Trinity, reflects a hellish discord. Do we really need yet another Christian body, or could not these Anglicans find an existing Church or communion to which they could join?
I also don’t think anything will come of Metropolitan Jonah’s offer, although I commend him for making the attempt. Even though they are much more conservative than the Episcopal church, this new body still allows some unacceptable practices and beliefs (at least from an Orthodox or Catholic standpoint), such as women priests (by diocesan choice) and Calvinism.
Let us all pray for unity within all of Christendom.