The argument here is sound. This concept of covenant is flawed and unbiblical in my view. But why only consider the unbiblical structures promoted, what about all those other self-perpetuating, self-propping ones of the same denomination?
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A year ago today the No Anglican Covenant Coalition was born. We have tried to articulate clearly the arguments for an against the Anglican Covenant and to explain our deep concerns about signing a document that seeks to relegate faithful brothers and sisters to second class Anglicans.
Recently, I was sent a text by Mark Bennet, on why he as an evangelical does not support the Covenant. I actually think this is something that all Christians may be able to agree with and so I will end this post with his text in full:
A Covenant for the Anglican Communion
Not a Biblical idea
Remind yourself of all the ways in which the word “Covenant” is used in the Bible. The dominant idea, seen from Noah and Abraham through to Jesus is of a God initiated plan to bring sinful human beings back into relationship with him. The prophets, speaking in God’s name, refer to “my covenant”.
Then think about the prophetic commentary on the content of those covenants, including the extensive legal commentaries or penal provisions, which indicates how easily human beings revert to the letter of the law, rather than honouring its spirit – and apply that law to others, rather than applying it to themselves. We say that we are saved by grace, not by law, and yet it is so easy to act as if the opposite is true. What did Jesus say about such things?
I am reminded of Tony Hancock’s reworking of the film “Twelve angry men” – “Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?” Is this document with which we are faced worthy of being put alongside the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, of which we remind ourselves at every eucharist?
If legislation or formal documentation had been sufficient to restore relationships, our Biblical narrative would be very different, and have a different trajectory. In fact our salvation in Jesus points us in a wholly different direction, and reminds us that we cannot legislate for good relationships, only to mediate the arguments which happen in bad ones.
Because the direction of this “covenant” does not match the Biblical plan for restoring relationships, it will not work, and in fact will draw us away from the true Biblical path which we need to follow if we are to follow Jesus.
22 October 2011
- The Episcopal Church Task Force cannot recommend the Anglican Covenant. (revdlesley.net)
- A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant (revdlesley.net)
- Helpful Material for Debating the Covenant (revdlesley.net)
- Latest No Anglican Covenant Coalition News Release (revdlesley.net)
- The UFO Director Explains the reason for the Covenant (revdlesley.net)
- Is the Anglican Covenant being rewritten? (revdlesley.net)
- Deanery Covenant Debate (revdlesley.net)
- Another Maori Diocese rejects the Covenant (revdlesley.net)
- Diocese of Europe have adopted the Anglican Covenant (revdlesley.net)