When it comes to being recognized, it’s not who knows you, it’s who doesn’t. You can always tell the really big names when it comes to religion by the way they’re not continuously dropping names in an attempt to show they do more than just run a break-away sect founded this week in suburban Texas.
Let’s face it, you don’t hear the Archbishop of Canterbury boasting of having received a email from Elder Peepstone of the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, do you? Nor does the Pope get excited about senior Christadelphians knowing who he is. And you can say what you like about the Presiding Bishop, but authority her office depends on more than a letter of recognition from a family of snake-handling Appalachians.
Consequently it’s all very well for ACNA to get terribly excited because a few pointy hats on the periphery of the Communion have wished them all the very best, but if little Bobby and his merry men are planning on being around for the long haul it’s going to take more than a few kind words from the usual suspects. Sure ++Anis is a big shot in his corner of the world, providing you’re not part of the 99.9% of the population there who are Muslim, Maronite, Roman, Coptic, Orthodox or Whirling Dervish, but let’s face it; think “Anglican heartland” and Egypt is not the first place that pops into your mind.
Nor should anyone place too much faith in a letter of approval from little Peter Jensen: he’d have a kind word to say about the Klan if they started seriouslyax hating liberals and stopped wearing robes. Which leaves us with what? A couple of English evangelicals, and two others from a group calling itself “Mainstream” which says all anyone needs to know; if you feel the need to hide behind a name like that you're probably anything but mainstream. Nor could it be said with any certainty that you're safe to trust with carving the Sunday roast.
Which leaves poor little Bobby with Rick Warren, and he’s not even an Anglican. Then again, come to think of it, neither is little Bobby anymore.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.