When the going gets tough the GAFCON get whinging: it’s impossible to overstate the importance of passive-aggressive complaining in the Conservative Bible-believers’ arsenal. The most impressive example of this technique that I’ve ever seen occurs in a delightful “Dear friends in Christ” email sent by the former Reverend Kevin “007” Bond Allen of St. Brendan’s Psuedo-Anglican Church in Bellingham, Washington.
I say “former” because a little while back this gallant ex-Clerk in Holy Orders decided that the Church’s acceptance of certain people in love with another person (as opposed to being love with a house plant, or garden implement?) meant God wanted him to abandon his vocation to join up with a group of local independent non-conformists, whose main distinguishing features are an apparent determination to hide the fact that they’re not actually part of the Anglican Communion, and a novel arrangement which sees them sharing premises with the local Seventh-day Adventist church – who doubtless comprise an equally orthodox Anglican congregation.
In response to such perfectly reasonable behavior his Bishop Episcopal, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, took the astonishing step of deposing our bold hero, a move Kevin 007 modestly describes as a decision “to forgo the high road to instead follow the national Episcopal Church party line.”
Yet despite Bishop Rickel outrageously choosing to follow the procedures, protocols and obligations of the Church he has sworn to serve, instead of taking the “high road” by ignoring these incidentals and recognizing a unique calling to unilaterally determine Episcopal doctrine and policy, Agent 007 graciously writes that he bears no animosity. Doubtless made easier by knowing that “my ordination and clergy credentialing are still valid in most of the Anglican Communion” - “most” that is, as long as you define “most” as being 6 out of 38 provinces (5 of which are on the same continent) and a handful of renegade Bishops. And possibly little Peter Jensen, who heads a category all his own called something like “Cromwell’s Taliban” (wonder when he’ll be inviting Layman Schofield down-under to preside at the cathedral?).
Concluding, he explains his relationship to the Episcopal Church is now “an ecumenical one”, despite his having already claimed to be mostly still ordained as an Anglican Priest. That's reassuring, since we all know how strongly Gafconeers are committed to ecumenicalism.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.
PS. Anyone who’d like to see the entire letter should just send me an email and I’ll be happy to forward a copy with formatting, headers, and recipients, removed to protect my dear sources. It's really worth seeing...