And because of the pressure of modern communication, especially e-mail, the ancient virtues of careful discrimination and godly patience have been made nearly impossible to exercise. At the same time the internal recognition by the African Provinces that their position has been totally reversed from being the subjects of colonialism to calling the tune in the Global Anglican Family has caused a kind of irrational euphoria to arise in their midst and cause them to take actions that they may regret down the line.
Thus though Lambeth Conference 2008 (the chief Instrument of Unity of the Anglican Communion) is not far away there is not the readiness amongst the seceders in North America or by their friends abroad to restrain actions until that date””in fact there is not the readiness on the part of four African Provinces to wait even until September 30, 2007, when TEC Bishops are required by the Primates’ Meeting to come clean on where they stand and will stand.
There were all kinds of other possible ways of caring for the seceders from TEC and ACC by overseas bishops as we all waited patiently for Lambeth 2008, after which there could have been if necessary concerted action. Though TEC and ACC have behaved badly and continue to do so, the exercise of Christian virtue by the displaced and the seceders could have been increased by the abundant grace of God in this crisis. Perseverance and patience (see Romans 5:1ff) could have been in place in the relatively short wait until Lambeth 2008””and as long afterward as necessary to set in motion healing and edifying actions and institutions.
It is much easier to destroy a house than built a new one; it is much easier to consecrate bishops and send them into the vast territory of the USA and Canada than it is, in a couple of years time, to bring them all together into unity in a new province””unity together with former bishops of TEC, of REC, of APA, of the Canadian Church and of various Continuing Anglican Groups.
It is possible””in fact likely if we take the history of religion in the USA as a guide””that we are now witnessing the permanent multiplication of Anglican jurisdictions in North America, adding to those caused by the schisms of 1873 and 1977 (the REC and the variety of Continuing Anglican Churches).
This is extremely sad and brings grief and sorrow to genuine Anglican hearts. It seems as though the whole Anglican Way has been blown apart not only by the infidelity of leaders in TEC & ACC but also by the excessive zeal of African Provinces.