The true call and mark of the church is faithfulness to the gospel of Christ. This is nothing but the worship of God and the preaching of the message of the cross: the proclamation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The call to focus on Christ and His Mission is essential, but the idea that church structure is set in stone and that bishops deserve unquestioning respect would seem to go against the very teaching and practice of our Lord Jesus. The actions of synods and bishops will always be open to question. What next? Will laypersons be accused of abandoning the Anglican Communion if we work with our Pentecostal, Baptist and Presbyterian brothers and sisters? The urgency of our common calling is relevant to those who are lost and who need to know that The Living God will one day come again to judge this world.
The only means to unity is faithful obedience to Jesus. No human may break this bond. Some in the Anglican Church of Canada would have us believe that decisions made by synods or bishops are capable of overriding the will of God Himself. It is puzzling to see my own corner of the church fragmented because Anglican leaders have failed to provide effective pastoral oversight to those of differing viewpoints. Our officials seem to have a very limited and confused ecclesiology. They think that they can pronounce whole congregations as being out of fellowship with each other, as though unity depends on ecclesiastical agreements or instruments of unity. When I join my brothers and sisters through the week I do not leave the Anglican church behind. I represent my church and bring my heritage with me to work with and draw upon as I serve the lost and encourage my co-workers. This includes all that I have learned as a Christian whether from my own tradition or that of a co-worker. Indeed whenever Christians work together, God’s Church, both visible and invisible, is truly present with all its warts and powers.