In an article on the National Post about the recent meeting of the Anglican Network of Canada in Burlington, Ontario, Charles Lewis quoted J. I. Packer, a well known, senior evangelical scholar:
"Schism means unwarranted and unjustified separation from the rest of the Church, causing an indefensible breach of unity. Those who are unfaithful to the heritage are the schismatics. It is not we who are the schismatics."
Professor Packer has surely been around long enough to realize that every schismatic in the history of Christianity has claimed that "we" are not the schismatics, "they" are the schismatics. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Apparently the Anglican Network of Canada, led by retired episcopal defectors Donald Harvey and Malcomb Harding, is planning to break from the Anglican Church of Canada and to join the Sons and Daughters of I Will Arise (also known as the Province of the Southern Cone of America), which has been trolling for disaffected dioceses, bishops, parishes, and money in North America.
Packer claims that the Anglican Church of Canada has been "poisoned" by "liberalism." This seems to mean primarily the willingness to consider blessing the unions of same-sex couples. However, "The homosexual issue is just the tip of the iceberg," said Cheryl Chang, a board member of the Anglican Network. "It is what's under the water that is more critical to us. The liberals see the Bible as a book that can be changed and interpreted, and conservatives see it as unchangeable through generations. And those are simply irreconcilable views."
Yeah, they probably are. I find it incredible that these folks think that the idea that the Bible must be "interpreted" is a "liberal" notion, and that seeing the Bible as "unchangeable through generations" is "conservative" (rather than 1. false and two 2. stupid).
One difference between "liberals" and "conservatives" is that "liberals" hope very much that the "conservatives" will stay and argue their point of view vigorously. The "conservatives," on the other hand, or at least many of them, would rather stomp off in a self-righteous hypcritical huff and then accuse the "liberals" of being "schismatic."
It's getting a little tiresome.
Thanks to epiScope for pointing to this article. http://episcopalchurch.typepad.com/episcope/anglican_church_of_canada/index.html
The National Post article is at http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=edcc8a09-290a-4b61-90c2-76d7afd08b05&k=38367&p=2